As an early adult I wrote two letters to my father encouraging him to be more fun. They were kind and well written, He was set in his ways and since he had been so responsible his entire life he never learned to be light-hearted. He didn’t have that to give.

My letters didn’t help. Mother asked me to stop. My siblings and I presumed it was because she was getting the brunt of his displeasure. Decades later I now think she was being protective.

Today I write letters all the time. They are the perfect way to get my thoughts together, look for missing or helpful facts and alternative scenarios. Would I ever send such a letter now? Only to right a wrong but probably not to anyone I love.

It’s amazing how, when I am sitting on such a letter now, the emotions subside, the people improve, new facts change the face of the problem, I get more insightful and the need for the letter goes away by itself.

Writing your way to your best thinking may keep you from embarrassing yourself. It will make you wiser and will surely make you more popular. The process helps you to consider more possibilities.

A word of caution: it may put you at risk of becoming an author.

Dave Dunn

Get Life Right: Lots of ideas to help you live a comfortable, fulfilling life by David Dunn