Thursday, January 9, 2014


With the first month of the Snail Mail Exchange under my belt and over 100 fabulous participants, it's safe to say I learned a thing or two I wish I'd done differently. That's life, right?! I've got my fingers crossed we can work through the kinks and in a few months it will be operating like a well-oiled machine, my friend — Dave Chapelle's character in You've Got Mail, anyone?! Until then, I thought I'd address some questions and concerns I've received from washi-tape and note-card crazed enthusiasts.

  • Each month, participants will be given a NEW pen pal.
  • I will email you at the beginning of each month with your new pen pal's mailing address.*
  • Mail should be sent to pen pals within 1-2 weeks of receiving their info. The sooner, the better, so you don't forget.
  • Whether or not you continue to be pen pals with someone is up to you! You're only required to write them once.
  • I'm am participating in the Snail Mail Exchange. Like the rest of you, I'm assigned one pen pal each month. I wish I could send EACH of you mail once a month, but I'm certain my right hand would fall off and I'd probably curse stationery and stamps. Oh, the horror! In my next life, I'm SO being a paper-loving octopus that owns a letterpress.
  • Pen pals are assigned in a grab bag kinda way. You will be sending a piece of mail to someone DIFFERENT than the person you'll receive a letter from. Logistically, it was easier for me this first time around.
  • Several participants have yet to receive mail from their December pen pal. If for some reason you didn't get around to sending a piece of snail mail, hop to it! Those still waiting on mail, please keep in mind that some pen pals are from overseas and it may take a little longer to send and receive mail.
  • That being said, I know the holiday season was crazy busy for all of us. If you find that life's too nutty to participate in the exchange right now, that's alright! Just email me and you can opt out. My feelings won't be hurt. It will help me ensure we have participants involved that actually want to send and receive mail.
  • I can't police every participant to ensure s/he has mailed his/her pen pal. With over 100 people involved, it's just too much. If for some reason you get paired with a participant that does not send you mail, I apologize in advance. Consider it an opportunity for you to spread a little joy to someone else. I'll cross my fingers that I pair you with someone the following month who is trustworthy and timely.
  • Because several people haven't received mail from their December pen pal, I'm going to hold off on sending January's pen pal assignments until the end of next week. I want to give everyone a chance to get their snail mail out before inundating you all with a new contact.*
  • I created the Snail Mail Exchange in an effort to help disconnect from the digital world and bring postal back. While many of the participants blog, Instagram, tweet, etc., I'm not responsible for giving you all of your pen pal's online info. We're disconnecting, my friends. It's part of the fun!
  • With over 100 snail mail enthusiasts involved, I have not conducted any background checks. If you don't feel comfortable exchanging addresses, then don't be involved. I can't vouch for everyone, but I would like to believe that those who emailed me to sign up for the exchange did so with the best intent.
  • Not sure what to write? Introduce yourself, if you'd like. Share an inspirational quote or a funny joke. You can make this whatever you'd like! There are no rules. If writing isn't your thing, doodle or stuff that envelope with confetti. It's okay to keep things simple. The point is to make others smile when they find an envelope in their mailbox.
  • To those currently involved, thank you for participating! Creating this little postal pick-me-up was definitely a highlight to my 2013. Thank you for your continued patience as I try to figure out all of the logistics.
  • For those interested in bragging about your snail mail on Instagram or Twitter, feel free to use: #OFDGOINGPOSTAL.

Phew, I hope I covered everything. Are there any additional questions or concerns?
Do you like having a random pen pal, or would you prefer to swap mail with the same person for the assigned month? 

*January pen pal assignments will be emailed to participants next week.

P.S. If this was Andy Cohen's Bravo Clubhouse and the word of the night was mail or pen pal, we'd all be blitzed!
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