I was teaching my kids to jig. Kind of. We were listening to Christmas music, and “Christmas in Killarney” came on, so I started to jig, and the kids tried to follow. I attempted to show them a few steps, to mixed results. Frustrated, my seven-year-old son shouted, “You make it look easy! No fair!”
Well, yes, fair. I’ve been dancing for years and years. Lots and lots of practice. That’s what’s required in making something “look easy.”
It’s the same with writing. When it’s read, the work should not be a chore. (Unless it’s a Russian novel.) It should “look easy.” But good writers take years to hone that work and their voice and craft . . . And no matter how practiced one becomes, there are always new steps to learn. If you’re willing to take the time to learn them, that is. Only you can decide whether it’s worth it—to you—to invest the effort.
What did they decide after all that research? That it takes 10,000 hours of practice to get really good at something?
After the jig bit, I tried something less cardio-intensive to cool down. (No matter how easy it looks, it’s still hard work.) “Mele Kalikimaka” came on and I taught the kids to hula. After all, not all styles are right for all people. Not in dance, not in words, and not in life.