Did you know that receiving a letter in the mail that is not a bill or advertisement can improve one’s mood more than a free drink or a sale on iPhone cases? This is a totally fabricated fact, but if my experience is any indication then it’s totally true. So now that you are an official member of the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club, you ought to give some thought to how you will correspond with the lucky lady who you were connected with. And no, you aren’t allowed to write an email.

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Here’s five things you should keep in mind if it’s been awhile since you did some old fashioned letter writing:

1. Use gel pens with caution. Yeah, glitter ink sounds really awesome until it sluffs off all over the paper to the point where you are left with a light pink ink that can’t even be read under a microscope.

2. Check your penmanship. In all honesty, mine could use some work. And with obvious reason. I haven’t had to actually write a formal anything in years. Maybe practice writing for a while before carefully writing “Dear So and So,” at the top of your letter.

3. Massage those hands regularly. My first letter to my pen pal (Hi Emily!) was rather verbose. Four freaking pages, what?! Around page three I had experienced a foreign feeling creeping through my palms and spreading to my fingertips. What was this feeling? Definitely not carpal tunnel. No, this was a feeling I recall from my college exams that resulted from repeated and intense pen to paper pressure. If your hand starts to clam, give it a rub.

4. A letter is only as good as its stationary. There are so many wonderful paper products on the market that I have had no reason to purchase up until now. Go on a stationary shopping spree and thank me later.

5. Don’t forget the Forever stamp. There are two kinds of stamps. Forever stamps and non-forever stamps. Pen pal friends are forever. Get the right stamp.

So get writing! And don’t forget to lick the envelope.

P.S. that cool stationary above is a Letterpress creation from the very cool Etsy seller, FurryFriend.

This post was written by Liz Giorgi.