I think the hardest thing about writing to someone is the first letter. I have been writing letters for ages now and I still try and avoid writing the first letter if I can! I think the hardest thing people find is knowing what to write about and how much to write about it. I think my best advice is not to overload your pen pals will all your details in the first letter, a lot of things will come out later as letters go on. Also don't be too vague, if you mention something like where you live make sure to elaborate by saying what you like and don't like about your town etc.
So here's some specific things that you could write in a first letter!
♥ Your name - This seems like a really obvious thing but its something I always forget to do! Let your pen pal know your name including your middle name and last name if you so want to! This would also be a great time to tell a pen pal if you have an alternative name that you prefer to be called and to explain why it is that you want to be called by another name.
♥ Your birthday - So if your pen pal is like me then maybe they wont be the best for remembering birthdays but if they are then now is a great time to let them know! Some pen pals will have some kind of pen pal book or diary so as soon as they know your birthday they will write it in and never forget. Don't forget to ask your pen pal for their birthday too! Also don't forget to let the person know your birth year as well because then they can work out how old you will be at every birthday.
♥ Where you come from - Your location will be really interesting to your pen pal especially if you're from a country that isn't as well known. Let your pen pal what you like about where you live and what makes your country interesting! It's always hard to describe your country to someone else because you're used to it so if you just mention a few things then your pen pal will ask you questions about it if they are still interested. Make sure you mention any interesting cities or towns near you as well! I personally always try and get in that the Titanic set sail from Southampton which is where I live because I think its pretty cool!
♥ Your star sign - I guess this kinda goes with your birthday. To me personally star signs don't really mean anything but to some people they are really important so it may be cool to add that if it means something to you! It might also be cool to mention about your Chinese birth year if you know about that as well!
♥ Who you live with and your pets - I've personally found that my pen pals (especially my Korean ones) are very interested in finding out about my 15 year old brother haha! Families are usually pretty interesting to know about especially if you have some unusual family traditions! Pets are always a great conversation starter as most people like animals! Its also cool to send a photo to your pen pal of your pet as they can sometimes be particularly hard to describe.
♥ Where you are working or studying - I don't think I have written one letter ever where I haven't mentioned whats currently going on with my education or job situation haha! It's something that's always changing and that almost every pen pal will be able to relate to. It would be a cool idea to mention your favourite subjects and whether you wear a uniform. Remember that education varies quite a bit from country to country so it might be worth while to explain your daily school routine.
♥ Something you are saving up for - Want something special? Maybe your pen pal does too! This will also say a lot about what you like and dislike as well.
♥ Your favourite hobby - Everyone has a hobby and you know that both you and your pen pal have snail mailing in common! Why not start the letter by saying how many pen pals you have and from which countries? Then you can share advice on pen palling ideas!
♥ Your favourite things - Colour, place, time of day, weather, country, accent, holiday, make up, clothes brand, TV character, singer... the list is endless! Pick a few things that you love to tell your pen pal about.
♥ Something trivial - If I was a superhero my chosen power would be... Something like that will really lighten the mood and who knows it might spark off a conversation that never ends!
So those are my top letter starters! I think the most important thing to remember is that its not serious and just have fun with it. I usually make a stereotypical joke about myself or something when describing my life. I usually end up saying that I have tea with the queen or that I didn't know there was other weathers other than rain. Basically just have fun with it!
I hope that helps you all!