May 31, 2011

Penpaling Issues

It's something, definitively something when you haven't written/posted/podcasted in a while and out of the blue you do it (whatever is that you do) and suddenly you double or triple or simply multiply your share. Has it happened to you? You know the drill, don't you? Whatever your number of penpals, there's always that one or that tight little handful of them you love to bits and pieces - and don't get me wrong, you love them all, which is why you keep writing to them - but there's always that selected little circle that click with you right. Then it happens that you are out of the mood and the letters pile up in your desk, in your box, in your basket, in your kitchen counter or wherever you store them before answering them. It isn't something you can control. It happens that you are up to your eyeballs in work, either from the office, or college or both, domestic issues also pile up in all colors and shapes, from the freaking washing machine you've to replace and you still have to pay the Internet bill and the phone bill, which reached to heavens, and lets not talk about the credit card, the gas and all upcoming taxes and insurance payments on the car.

It also happens - because it does - that you are out of it. It may feel a lot like being burned out. A spoonful of depression or depression-like feeling, two cups of tireness, a spoonful of general annoyance, a hint of procrastination or tendency to procrastination or even two pinches or newly found procrastination. Blend it all together and you'll get the perfect out-of-it cocktail. No energy to read, no energy to write, the haunting feeling of "chore" when it is a hobby and you love it! and above all, a blank mind. Even if you read it and the letter is awesome - because all letters are awesome, or at least all my penpals are professional letterwriters who write only but awesome letters - you can't get yourself to reply. Serve it cold.

Have you felt that? And if you force yourself to reply, the letter feels off. Struggle as you might, as you want, you can't shake it off. But then, suddenly, out of the blue, you get a hang of it, you are back, your mojo is back, you've got your faery coat back and you are flying! Writing and replying isn't enough and you BURN in desire to write yet another letter on top of the letter you just closed, maybe write it again, maybe start a new one as you post the last one, specially when it's about that handful of clicking-penpals.

How can this be? Beats me, I've no idea. However, as a penpal on and off for the last ... lots of years, there's a couple of things I can tell you:

1. When the mood is off, sit it off. For this purpose, keep only those penpals that understand, and you two be understanding.
2. Perhaps consider issuing a short e-mail or a post-card to your "on the waiting" penpals - if that's a custom you've taken -  and simply tell them that you are in the process of, but currently off it. Post cards are great for this purpose because they are usually nice, collectible and the space given is small, so your message, however short, will always look plenty.
3. Don't stress yourself about the off mood. It happens to the best of us.
4. Relax, go to the movies, and keep a small notepad with yourself. Why? Because as you relax, if you are a hardcore, letter-loving penpal, when you are enjoying yourself, you'll think about that penpal of yours who would surely love to know about this and that. You quickly write it down, record it, and when the drive is back, you've a few extra ideas lined up to fill lines in your correspondence.

So, the next time the out-of-it strikes, reply to it with a soothing spa!

No comments: