Postcard writing prompts - ideas welcome!

You know the monthly writing prompts we put on the Postcrossing blog, to give you ideas of things to write about on your postcards?

Sometimes they’re about food, music, architecture, literature, traditions, famous people and inventions… sometimes they’re about things from your country or region, and sometimes they’re unique to you. We think of them as mini conversation starters for your postcards.

We’re always looking of new topics to suggest on the blog, so if you have ideas, please let us know!

The themes should be interesting (something you’d like to read about on a postcard), but also universal, so that anyone can write about them no matter their age, language or locations. For instance, anyone can talk about a national holiday from their country, but not everyone will be able to write about their work experience. They also shouldn’t be too generic (eg. music) and need to make sense even if you’re not aware of the ongoing monthly prompt.

So… what do you think would be good things to write about on postcards?

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I am not sure this is a goof topic but I am really curious about how other people see Germany. For examples what stereotypes there are and if someone has visited what did they not expect to find. Of course not limited to Germany.

For example during my time in the US I had two good friends from Mexico. One of them greeted me with hugs and kisses from the beginning. The other never did.
One time we were all three together and when my friend greeted me as usual with hugs and kisses the other one was really surprised and said: do Germans hug and kiss as well? I never did that because I tought Germans don’t do that. I thought that was rather sweet and I would love to hear more on others see us.

However I fear that depending what you write to who people can get offended by that. Still I thought I just throw this topic in.

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I have a few writing prompts in my profile and these seem to be surprisingly popular: “a crude drawing of yourself”, “your favorite mug” and “your annoying neighbor”

I had a long, long list of writing prompts and I was told it was too long so now I capped it but it might still be too long… Oh, well, I made sure to keep those three since they are popular, which means they are probably fun to write and fun to receive, too!

Edit: “Your family” and “Your day” were also quite popular but not everyone has a family and I’m pretty sure “your day” must have been covered by the monthly writing prompts already.

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  1. A folklore from your region
  2. Your favourite (or most memorable) movie quote
  3. The kindness of a stranger that you’ve come across

(Did we skip the October prompt though?)

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This is so funny! Can I steal that for my profile? :rofl:

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On my profile, I ask people to tell me three very random facts about themselves. I’ve gotten such funny and abstruse answers on that! :smiley:

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Go ahead! :laughing:

Personally, I like more personal questions rather than ones about the “X of your country”. I understand why people like that too… but I go for the personal.

  • What did you eat for breakfast today?
  • What form of transportation do you use most, and why? (Car, feet, bus etc)
  • What time do you go to sleep at night, and when do you wake up?

I have used these on my profile and had some really interesting replies.

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I didn’t know I have a favorite mug before I saw this!

I tend to get bit tired with always writing the same “hey I am…” so thinking of few things I write on cards:

Few lines of song lyrics or part of a poem
Trying to make the text rhyme or write it as a haiku (the plot twist is that I am not good with rhyming)
Write few first lines of a book. This works especially well if the card shows illustration from a book and I can write down few lines from that one.
The favorite day of the year.
What happened on that day some years ago (I keep a day journal)
Where and how I got the card I am sending (it is little difficult to find cards here so sometimes it is a full adventure for me)
Draw stick figures

These are the few I have on my mind now, but I am continually seeking new creative ways to absolutely avoid presenting myself on each card sent and hopefully make the card “bit different”

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How do you ring in the New Year?

What would be your dream holiday?

What do you see when you look out your window?

Is there something that made you smile today?

What did/do you want to be when you grow up?

Does your name have a meaning?

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The other day I did the 5 senses exercise and wrote about it on the back of the postcard.

Write:
Five things you see around you
Four things you can touch around you.
Three things you can hear.
Two things you can smell.
One thing you can taste.

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Your first love :slight_smile: :smile:

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I don’t know if this really applies to a writing prompt, but I love to hear about someone’s passion(s) in life!

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Volunteering could be a topic, where people tell about former or current voluntary work, or voluntary work they would like to do.

Wildlife could be another topic.

  • (Common) wild animals in the country of the sender.
  • Wild animals the sender has seen.
  • Wild animals the sender dreams of seeing.
  • Or something else related to wildlife.

And meals. For instance: For you, what is a typical…

  • …breakfast?
  • …lunch?
  • …dinner?
  • …evening meal?
    • What do you eat? Where? With whom?
    • What’s your favourite meal of the day?

Or describe the place you’re writing the postcard, using all your senses. And/or describe the view through a nearby window.

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I think one idea I saw on someone’s profile ages ago was to write about some kind of personal habit / ritual that the sender enjoys. So particularly in this time of the pandemic where many of us cannot go out very much, see many people or otherwise live how we used to, I think it could be nice to focus on the positive aspects of daily life, such as:

  • What is the one thing / activity that always improves your mood?
  • What thing / activity can you not imagine your day about?
  • What thing / activity do you now enjoy that you didn’t think you would like?
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I also have a prompt question about “your favorite mug”! [Virtual high five!] I almost included one about neighbors as well, because I currently have atrocious neighbors. :joy:

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I love the wildlife prompt! I should include it in my profile; I enjoy hearing and telling people about local wildlife, because the stories can be really amusing. Because I’m not currently seeing any people during quarantine, observing animal behavior has become a favorite source of entertainment for me!

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  1. What is the funniest thing you have ever heard or seen?
  2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
  3. What are five things on your bucket list?
  4. What are five cities you want to visit?
  5. What is the strangest thing you have ever seen or experienced?
  6. What is an urban legend that is common in your area - like Bigfoot or locally here we have the Lady of the Lake.
  7. What are three stupid things you are scared of? (Like I am terrified of June Bugs; it’s a whole story.)
  8. Around holidays I like to know if people have any holiday traditions. Like each year my dad takes the family out to eat on Christmas Eve at the same Italian restaurant and then on Christmas Day after we open presents the kids have an EPIC NERF BATTLE on his ranch and I make up a scavenger hunt where they have to do a funny task at each stop and they get little prizes as they go along. I love to hear about people’s traditions.
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Here’s the list from Postcrossing’s Help page.
https://www.postcrossing.com/help/what-should-i-write-on-a-postcard

  • Express what daily life is like where you’re sending the card from by describing what you did today, your routine, etc.
  • Write 5 curious facts about the place where the card is from.
  • Give local traveling tips from your area! What are the must-sees around you?
  • Include your favorite quote, perhaps in its original language (with translation!)
  • What was the last thing you cooked or ate? Include a recipe!
  • What do you have in common with the recipient of your card?
  • Recount a childhood memory, or something you’ve learned from your grandparents.
  • What makes you happy? If it makes you smile, there’s a good chance others will like to hear about it.
  • Share a local idiom or saying, in its original language, with translation of course!
  • Did you ever travel to the place where your card is going? Recall your best memory of that place.
  • What’s the weather like as you are writing your postcard? Draw the weather forecast in detail, and don’t forget to include the temperature!
  • Share an interesting fact that you’ve learned recently, and which most people are not aware of.
  • Got an unusual hobby or collection? Do tell!
  • Did anything important happen in your country lately? Share an interesting news tidbit!
  • Write about your favorite book, movie or band.
  • Draw a picture of your surroundings, or your favorite object in that room.
  • Write your favorite poem or…
  • …make up your own poem! Acrostic poems or haikus are short and enjoyable to write.
  • What are the local festivals or traditions from your area?
  • If you’re a student, what are you studying? What was the last thing you learnt in school?