How to Write A Letter to Someone You’ve Never Met

I love writing letters. I’ve been a regular letter writer for as long as I can remember. And since discovering the joys of washi tape recently (and promptly acquiring almost 200 rolls in the span of a few weeks–thanks Hanne), I’m churning out more letters than ever: I mailed seven yesterday and have four more to write today. (And I wonder why I have carpal tunnel.)

Each weekend I generally write my grandparents, a few close friends, and respond to any letters I’ve received during the week. And often, I write letters to strangers–for example, someone I’m connected with on social media but have never met in person. Social media is a great way to find new pen pals, but it can sometimes feel awkward to write to someone you don’t really know. So today I thought I’d share some of my strategies for writing letters to strangers.

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First, I like to start off with something we both have in common: “I noticed you like to read. I like to read, too.” Sometimes this requires a little social media stalking! You can also simply say, “I love following your blog because ____.”

Next I’ll often talk about what I’m doing right then. Whether it’s raining outside my window, my cat is trying to swat at my pen, or I had to start over decorating the envelope three whole times because I kept getting blood on it (true story, just ask Grace Anne), this is a nice section to add to the letter so the recipient can picture what you were doing while writing.

At that point I typically back up and introduce myself a little bit. I live north of Atlanta and I’m a full-time freelance writer. I enjoy reading, dancing, and snuggling with my cat (the rare times she wants to snuggle with me).

Then, I ask the recipient some questions. Questions can be a tough balance: I don’t want to ask boring or basic questions, but totally wacky would-you-rather’s aren’t going to help build a relationship either. Some of my go-to’s are:

  • What’s something you’re excited about right now?
  • What’s the last book you read and what did you think about it?
  • What causes are you passionate about?

In general, I try to make the letter sound very conversational, and I close with something lighthearted.

Not sure where to start writing letters? I’ve used the following services or tactics over the years to find a pen pal (or someone to write a letter to):

If you’re at home bored with extra time on your hands right now, write a letter to a friend–or a stranger! And if you want a letter from me, email me at haileyhudson@thehardworkingcreative.com or DM me on Instagram with your address and I’d love to send you one 🙂

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Do you write letters? What are some of your best tips for starting a pen pal relationship off on the right foot?

5 thoughts on “How to Write A Letter to Someone You’ve Never Met

  1. Pingback: How to Start an Email to a Stranger - SitePoint

  2. Pingback: 5 Easy Ways to Spice Up a Pen Pal Letter! || Pen Pal With Me + Announcement! – Losing The Busyness

  3. Isn’t washi tape the best!?!? I love all your tips, and although it’s been quite a while since I had a brand-new pen-pal, getting letters is one of the best feelings in the world.

    best.
    k.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are such good tips! I’m halfway through the pile of letters that I promised to write when I asked on social media a while ago, and it’s been super fun! I haven’t written letters since I was like 10 . . . so 10 years! but I’m just now remembering how fun it is.

    My mom tells me that I got four letters yesterday, which I am excited to open (all our incoming mail sits in the garage for 3 days to make sure any/thing/ dies before we bring it in) and it’s just all so fun!!

    Hanne

    Liked by 1 person

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