First 100 Pen Pals
Today, December 27th, I am just a couple entries away from receiving 100 survey responses on my Find a Pen Pal program! I started the program 3 weeks ago as a way to get my business out there and to also encourage people to send more handwritten letters.
The exciting part is that so many of you wanted to sign up! The hard part is, I am a one woman show over here and now I have lots of homework to do. :)
A lot of applicants added special requests, like one girl from South Africa who had spent the last year in Europe and wasn't able to explore much due to COVID-19. As someone who is very interested in European history, she specifically requested someone from a European country. Then there is another applicant who specifically asked to be matched with someone who needs it the most, whichever person needs to talk and connect during this difficult time.
A few were also asking for pen pals that speak a language they are currently learning. This is called a language exchange and I would love to launch a pen pal program specifically for this in the future, but for now I am starting small and sticking with the original plan.
I am grateful for those who added extra comments, because it helps me to choose someone who I think they will really connect with and fulfill exactly what they are looking for.
My mom, who I've mentioned before in the About Me section and on my home page, always inspired me to write when I was little. She is a writer, too. She always has a pen in her hand, and she thinks a mile a minute. She has lots of ideas and not all of them are even realistic, but that doesn't matter. She also shares her ideas without any provocation! LOL
She told me that I should make sure people know they will be matched with someone from a different country, and that she doesn't know if matching them up by common interests is very smart because people want pen pals so they can learn about someone who is different than them.
I don't disagree with her, I know all of you who filled out the survey will learn something from your pen pal, because I carefully match each duo and make sure that both parties are from different cultures or areas. I only match based on common interests so you have some common ground to stand on. I think that'll help you relate to each other.
Besides, not every scrapbooker has kids, not every woodworker lives in the country, and not every gamer eats junk food. I know that in your correspondence, even though you have things in common with your pen pal, you will have plenty of things between you that differ greatly.
Either way, it's getting pretty busy over here. I am thinking of shutting off all responses until I get these first 100 paired, but I can't decide yet. I have plenty to do between writing blog posts, posting to Instagram, creating new products, and corresponding with people who are currently in the program. Pairing pen pals isn't my only focus. I also make art, paint postcards and I'm working on a new line of handmade, personalized stationery. I wish I had even more time to do all this, but I have to do administrative work as a freelancer in order to support myself at the moment. I look forward to focusing entirely on my store one day.
So to each of you in the original 100, thank you for being patient. I can't wait for you to get connected with your pen pal and to write your first letter. I can't wait to hear from you as to how it is going! I hope finding my website is a moment you can look back on and be glad for.
Here's to writing handwritten letters, learning from others and supporting small businesses!