I have noticed recently that there has been a lot of banter about writing long letters. Maybe it's always been the way with those who write letters, so many longing for kindred spirits who will reply to pages and pages with novellas of their own? I'm relatiely new to the scene, so I can only guess. I to have felt the distant pang of vague disappointment when a reply finds me at one single page, but I am also aware that my correspondence is all new, fresh and difficult. These early letters are a challenge. The anxiety of not wanting to write selfishly, or to come across as boring. Not knowing your new pen pal makes it difficult to know what they will find interesting in a letter and also makes it difficult to share those feelings and secrets we share with a partner of many months or years.
I love every single letter I receive, I enjoy every word written by each individual pen pal, because it is theirs and I value the time they give me by writing their letters immensely. Please don't misunderstand this post, don't feel worried that your letters aren't long enough! Each of you gives me something different from your precious paper packages, but they all bring me happiness, and that is more than enough :)
The point of this post is about my letters and what I would like to achieve...
My letters usually range from 4-6 A5 pages, I would classify this as a medium letter. My writing is smaller than most, but larger than some and I like to keep my lines tight. This means that when I think of trying to fill 4-6 A4 pages, my confidence crumbles a little. How many of my words would it take to fill such a vast amount of pages?? (I also struggle with the idea of writing on plain old lined paper... where do I find pretty A4 paper with narrow ruled lines?)
I believe it is the quality, not the quantity that makes a great letter. I hope that the recipients of my mail feel the same way too.
However, this doesn't stop me from wanting to become a long letter writer.
I don't believe I would write 'long' letters to every pen pal. Especially not in these early days of penfriendship. But I'd like to give it a go... here is where I need your help.
After spending some time working in Lyon, I'm struggling to write letters. I'm finding myself uninspired, a little bored and totally unmotivated. I blame my lack of motivation on the heat and humidity. It's unbearable. Seriously, the only respite I get is one or two hours in the early morning before the sun has risen above the rooftops. And it's only going to get worse :(
So, I'm struggling to find subject matter to write about.
I also struggle with my belief that I'm not a very exciting or funny person and have a fear that if I managed to write a long letter it would be a terrible experience for the recipient. Like having to read a boring book for school and finding your eyelids getting heavier with each line until you realise you've been napping for the past 20 minutes. I don't want to be that kind of penpal!
So, help help help! Even if you aren't a penpal of mine, I would love your input!! What would you like to read in a letter? Do you have any ideas for subject matter that I could really elaborate on, or examine in depth? Are you a long, medium or short letter writer? How do you find inspiration for interesting/funny/moving material?
I really would love to hear from you all, so I'm going to leave this as the latest post over the weekend.