Have you changed what you write on cards, over time?

Have you changed what you write on postcards, over time?

I have. I used to (dutifully) write all about me, because that’s what people seemed to want to read. But as time went by I got bored with that, as it became repetitive for me.

Then I switched to writing about the card I’m sending, and something about them, gleaned from their profile.

However, sometimes there’s nothing to be gleaned from their profile, no connection with the other person at all. In such cases I’ll write whatever comes into my head - and have some fun doing it.

Once I carefully wrote the first verse of a well known poem to a person who clearly understands English. But the response was so rude that I packed that in. (She wrote back in her registration message, something like “Did you write any text at all? I couldn’t understand a word of what was on your postcard”.)

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I’ve realized over time, writing a postcard is kind of like writing haiku - you’ve only got 3 to 6 sentences to work with depending on how big or small your handwriting is or the size of the postcard.

I’ve gotten better at writing short, interesting info about the card & I try to write about something we might have in common if there’s a connection.

I also try to be encouraging about any hobby or activity they might mention too, especially if I can relate to it. I sometimes ask them a question about something interesting on their profile & hope they answer it in their thank you message.

And now during the pandemic time, I ask people to stay as safe as they can.

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I do that too. And/or I ask them a question about their country and hope they answer it.

I usually sign off with something like that too. :clap:

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It’s an interesting topic to think about!

Actually I think I had the opposite change - before I wrote about myself very rarely (and I find that reading someone’s short bio on the postcard is a bit boring and actually tells nothing about the person, I’m not into gender/age/country statistics), I had time to draw something on the card if I felt like nothing inspires me from the profile. I think in the years of doing postcrossing I become stupider (unrelated to hobby, just more busy with work and family) in some aspects - one of them is ability to write short meaningful texts.

Nowadays I write about myself when people ask for it (that means 50% of the cards I write are my short bio) and try to cover most of the postcard in decoration so I have less to write.

Personally I love writing/reading random things about my/someone’s day, answering questions if receiver has them in the profile, writing about my inspired memories by the card or why I chose it (the information about the picture is either on the card or can be easily found, it feels weird to rewrite wikipedia article on a card).

@LC-Canada The haiku metaphor is spot on! I noticed that during the pandemic I get more ‘stay safe’ postcards than ‘Happy postcrossing! I hope you like this card’, so pandemic gave everyone an easy way to write a message, it seems (I finish messages with ‘Stay safe’ too :slight_smile: )

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In my first cards I wrote “I got your address from Postcrossing” :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: which now seems weird, but kind of funny too, because, isn’t it obvious, as there is the id.
This I don’t write anymore.

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I write each message for that recipient only so they vary a lot. My English has improved and I will have gained experiences to write about. That has changed the style of my writing. If I’m writing to a child, I may only write one word. Once I wrote nearly 400 words on a card.

For people with blank or uninspiring profiles, I of course do the usual my name is this and I live in here, I work here and this is what I do when I am not working. Still, this text has changed a lot in the fourteen years I’ve been postcrossing. I’ve moved to a bigger city and started university, then moved country, been on holiday, got married, changed jobs and become a mother. On a given day it of course is roughly the same on each card.

I much prefer the text side of postcards. My favourites are interesting anecdotes and ordinary things about someone’s day. Sometimes I get rants and good news, these are always great. I don’t find much interest in the generic bio text I often get, not much thought goes into it on either side. Maybe one card in ten refers to my profile and answers my question. Interestingly, the most popular cakes are currently carrot cake and cheese cakes in general.

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I only write about me if a receiver specifically asks. After all, they can read my profile after they receive my postcard.
Otherwise, I try to write something different for each recipient, tailored to their interests. So, for instance, suppose someone indicates interest in bridge, lighthouse and maxi postcards, but will accept whatever a sender surprises them with. If I don’t happen to any of their collection interests, I will find something interesting but then write about something related to their interests; say, find an interesting quote about building bridges (literal or metaphorical); or something about the history of lighthouses in Canada. The text becomes the connection, then. Not the postcard itself.

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I usually always start by introducing myself. I like to at least know the name of the person who writes to me.
After that it differs. If people ask on their profile to write about something specific I do that. Or I write about the postcard itself or I tell about my hobbies.

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I enjoy connecting with people and what I read on their profiles, so I generally write something different on each one, one time I even wrote down a small poem I’d just composed myself just for fun, though sometimes when a person’s profile doesn’t really tell me anything or give me any suggestions of what to write I write down a sort of standardized message, but generally even those are customized.

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I think what I write varies more now than when I first started Postcrossing. But what I write also depends a lot on what people put (or not put) on their profile. I might end up writing a boring message if there isn’t anything particularly inspiring in the profile.

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The only thing I will never write on a postcard is: “I hope you like this postcard”, don’t know why, it feels somehow like you are apologizing for the card you have chosen. Although it’s very often written on the cards I receive.
I love it when people put very specific or original questions in their profile to answer on the card. That’s fun to do.

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My first few cards, I think I might have written the same note on some of them, but I’ve never written my bio. I don’t even have that on my profile, because I simply don’t find it interesting to know such things about complete strangers I’ll never be in touch with again.

I tend to write about what the profile asks me. If nothing there, I’ll write about something I’ve done, if it’s not an everyday thing; something that relates to the card, either that is my story or a news story; or just what ever pops in my head.

I remember sending a card to someone who liked red; I wrote about my love for my red tricycle when I was a kid.

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I like to write about the card I’m sending, as I often have some extra info or background that the recipient might not have. Then, if they asked a question or provided a prompt (like “tell me about you” or more specific ones), I love to write based on that. If not, I’ll try to find something to say based on their profile.

If there’s nothing, then I’ll write about something interesting but unrelated to me: extreme weather we’ve experienced, the news, the history of Canada, etc. This is the only thing that has changed: I used to write a bit about me, but now I only do that if the person asks to do so.

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I used to try to write something about me but now I ask a question. It’s more fulfilling to me to ask a question because when I register a card I love to answer any questions left on the card so I just do the same by asking questions like “how was your day today?” Or other questions related to their bio.

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Hmmm, I’ve never thought of it that way. I usually only send that message when I send a card that did not match their preferred description of postcards on their bio.

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Yeah, I definitely switch up my messages. I usually have a few general templates in my mind, and then pick some variation of those for inspiration & usually add something specific that the person mentions in their profile. I do get bored with writing similar things, so sometimes I just go rogue and write total silly nonsense, like, “hello darling, I haven’t heard from you in a fortnight, how is so-and-so?” – just dumb stuff that makes no sense, lol. I don’t do if often, because I do generally prefer something of more substance… but hey, it is a fun palate cleanser template for me, and people usually laugh about it in their Hurray message.

I also like to switch up my profile because it changes what people write to me too. I don’t always have a writing prompt (but I do right now). Sometimes I have a long profile. Other times I leave my profile really bare. I find it interesting to see what people will write with no prompts at all, even though I know it can be difficult to relate sometimes. :slight_smile:

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What I write depends a lot on the profile. I will sometimes comment on something they’ve written. If the card is interesting enough I’ll write about that. I tend to leave the writing about me stuff for when I can’t think of anything else.

When I get a card with questions I do try to answer in my thank you message. I have to say that I try not to encourage further communication by asking more questions in my thank you message. While I really love Postcrossing and the short communications, I’m not looking for penpals, or developing ongoing friendships. Not that people aren’t interesting but I just can’t keep up that pace and if I made ‘friends’ with all the nice people on Postcrossing and my stamp collecting group and the odd game I like I’d never get offline :slight_smile:

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I had a profile once that asked me to make a story up about them so I wrote a totally fictional response on my card. It was actually quite fun.

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Yes I think my first couple must have been a babbling nightmare
I try to write to people profile or answer questions if they ask them
At time there is nothing there so I do my generic info

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I only joined postcrossing 9 months ago, but I’ve noticed that my messages are getting longer. I always write what comes to my mind, sometimes about my town or the town I come from originally, my hobbies, what I’ve been up to that day - or something completely different! :grin: Some postcrossers give writing prompts and occasionally I use those or write something in response to their profile.

Funnily enough I’ve never used the official writing prompt from the postcrossing site. I read it every month and then immediately forget about it… :see_no_evil:

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