Dear Iggles,

Help! I feel like a really bad pen pal. I never know what to write about in my letters. I really like my pen pal and I enjoy each letter I get from her, but I’m afraid that she will think my letters are boring. I’m not sure how to respond to what she says, even though it is interesting, and I don’t feel like the stuff going on in my life is interesting. I bought nice stationery & fun stickers, but I don’t feel like that makes me good enough to be a pen pal that anyone would really want to have. Do you have any tips for me?

Awaiting your reply,
Dreadfully Dull

Dear Dreadfully Dull,

Don’t lose hope! I think that many of us feel the same as you describe, at least sometimes. In fact, even your pen pal might now & then, yet you always enjoy getting mail from her! Most of us would agree that any mail from our pen pal is better than none at all, so keep that in mind. If your pen pal is still writing back to you, that’s a good sign!

Each person is unique & complicated, so don’t feel boring just because you don’t feel like a lot is going on in your life right now. You are still full of experiences, opinions, & ideas! Those are the things that define you more than your circumstances.

If you really find yourself completely uninspired, maybe just make a card with just a note of encouragement, so your pen pal knows you thought of her. Even if you don’t feel like it’s fascinating, it will at least be a sign that you do want to stay in contact. Keep an eye out for fun things you could include with your letter, like samples of tea, or business cards from your favorite local businesses. You could try drawing a picture or writing a story, or write a letter as if it’s from a favorite fictional or historical figure. One of my favorite ways to fill a page is with lists, which could be anything from My Favorite TV Shows, to What I’m Doing Next Week, to Fictional Characters with Funny Outfits. & don’t forget to ask your pen pal for her opinions too!

Above all, I think the best thing is to be honest, & not try to be anyone you’re not. If you’re interested in something, write about it, even if you doubt your pen pal would be as interested as you are. Chances are, she’ll be happy to hear about you! She’s a geek girl like you, not someone you have to impress. Having a pen pal is meant to be fun, so don’t let your worries drag you down. If you have fun writing a letter, it’ll be fun to read!


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