Dear Ma,

You want a life hack? Write letters to your mother. Talk to your Ma. Don’t write one, write many. Come to think of it, don’t stop with your Mom. Include your Dad, siblings, cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. They are your greatest source of strength through your writing journey. Trust me on this one. I wouldn’t have wasted the time to write this horse shit in the first place if I didn’t believe it.

Before I continue, there have to be a few rules before you try this. Simple enough, no emails, chats, messaging apps or Microsoft Word. Nothing digital. All hand written. No exceptions. With all the word processing programs, it’s harder for you to make a mistake without a pop-up icon correcting you. Your authentic voice becomes blunted before you even get a chance to get into the zone. Writing handwritten letters is laborious, thought provoking, and personal. The perfect environment for your true sentence to emerge.

For me, this form of writing practice allows me to play with a new narrative because I am speaking to my family. It gives me permission to use my authentic voice without any judgment. My mom understands my penmanship, my mood swings, and the fact that I have several definitions for the word sugar. She overlooks my mistakes and doesn’t criticize the gutter language I use to describe my day. The conversation is real, so my guard goes down and I am able to write without any rules. My voice and my passion come into play. I am still writing to an audience.

My letter writing has taken on a life of its own. It’s no longer a practice, but now an expectation. That feeling beats almost any other. Not only does my dear old mutter get a weekly post, but so does my entire family. I am reconnecting back into my family’s collective on a whole new level. We are the Gosseck. Resistance is futile.

If I still haven’t convinced you about writing a letter to your mother, let me remind you of one important thing. This woman tacked up your shitty drawings and school projects on the refrigerator or wall. She understands your thought process almost better than you. Use that to your advantage. Your mother is a gold mine of patience, and most likely the only one who realizes your brilliance. The rest of us whisper behind your back.

I look at it like this. The only way you can speak to your audience and connect with them at a deeper level is to speak to them like family. Dispel any notion that you must follow the Queen’s speak to the letter. If your prose is genuine, the reader will overlook your execution, and identify with your message. What better practice than writing to the ones who love you.

Whatever your family dynamic is, don’t count out their strength and resource. Your voice will get stronger. It will transfer to almost all of your writing. It’s your family. And isn’t connecting to your family what we all want? Use your skill set to force feed them your work. They will enjoy it more than you will.

If you still don’t take my word for it, ask your mother. I bet she’s on my side on this one.