Easy reading is damn hard writing.Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) American writer
Also attributed to others, including Ernest Hemingway. Per Wikiquote, the earliest use of the phrase found as such is by Maya Angelou, in Conversations With Maya Angelou (1989) [ed. Jeffrey M. Elliot]I think it's Alexander Pope who says, "Easy writing is damn hard reading," and vice versa, easy reading is damn hard writing.Which may refer in turn not to Pope but Richard Brinsley, Clio's Protest, or the Picture Varnished (1771, pub. 1819):You write with ease, to show your breeding, But easy writing's curst hard reading.