What is the hardest thing to write?
Novel? Well, no, not really. If you got a good idea that is slapping you upside the head, then you got it made.
Novella? No. Been there, and still doing that as it's my weapon of choice.
Short story? No. Been there, did that.
Flash fiction? See previous answer.
Intelligent Facebook update? Well............no.
Jacket blurb, query letter, synopsis? Well....sometimes. But this ain't about that.
A comment to a story/blog post/status update that thoughtfully engages people? Sometimes, but this isn't about that either.
I'm quickly finding that the hardest thing to write isn't any of the above nor any kind of business correspondence, but a reference letter.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen. A reference letter.
I very rarely lend myself out to be a reference of any kind, simply because one of the few things that I treasure the most is my word. I've developed my current reputation in part because when I say I'm going to do something, it gets done. Reliability as one would say. So when I offer someone the option of using me as a reference, that usually means that they impressed the hell out of me over a long period of time.
Such is the case now.
As most of you know, I do payroll for a social services agency. Because our agency is so large, we often have people who are our eyes, ears, and hands out in the field offices. They are our go-to people for when we need payroll issues resolved out there and when we need to have timesheets entered (yes, about 25% of my job is auditing). I do both a facility (aka prison) and a field office, and whereas I do an outstanding job with my facility, there is a need to have a competent person to be my eyes/ears/hands out in the field office.
I have such a person in my field office, and when I found out earlier in the month that she is leaving our agency after Labor day, I was very surprised and shocked to say the least. I've gotten to know, appreciate and become a close co-worker to this person over the past 1 1/2 years, and to lose such a person would indeed make things a little less interesting at work.
Because of the exceptional quality of her work and what she has done for me in those 1 1/2 years, I made the offer to her of using me as a reference, then up the ante that I would be more than happy to write a letter of reference for her.
She graciously accepted my offer, so now I have to actually produce a reference letter. And let me tell you, I am doing a boatload of procrastination on this. I really want to do this letter as perfect as I can possibly get it. I do have a few templates to work from as I've had a few co-workers write some for me, but still, the pressure is all on me not to screw this up.
How 'bout you? Do you agree with my assessment that a reference letter is the hardest thing to write? Or do have something else that is harder?