When was the last time you wrote a personal letter to someone?Â Now, I realize we all use and abuse e-mail, but how about a genuine, heartfeltÂ handwritten letter in which you poured out your innermost thoughts and emotions?
Sadly, I bet there’s a great segment of our population, especially among the young, who have never written a letter, except maybe a “Dear John” here and there.Â (I once got one of those in the form of a poem.Â I should’ve kept it.)
I bring this up because letter writing is one of the greatest proven techniquesÂ for mastering a language, certainly the English language.Â I still remember the advice I got when I first started out in the writing trade:Â “Pretend like you’re writing a letter to a friend.”Â In other words, relax and be yourself and be honest.Â The words flow better that way.
Now, don’t get me started on e-mail.Â What an abomination most e-mails are.Â Many are more like cave drawings or inscriptions than actual writing, closer to tagging than thinking.
But try writing a sincere letter to a friend, and you’ll see what I mean.