They always say it takes more time to write a short essay than a long one. I agree: brevity is hard. It also takes a lot effort to produce writing that appears effortless.
Fabrice Grinda pointed me to this wonderful YouTube clip of someone composing an email to a girl he met at a bar and trying hard to strike the right tone. "Dear Mimi" becomes "Hi Mimi" becomes "Hey Mimi". He re-writes sentences to appear as casual as possible while still conveying meaning. It’s great stuff: