What is learning?
The technical definition usually includes a statement about acquired knowledge or skills, a statement about it’s being semi-permanent (you can forget), and a statement about being caused by experience or training.
Some say it is practice that causes a relative permanent change in behavior. Others point out that it is a process more than a product. All definitions include something about acquiring new things but few include that you incorporate that new knowledge or skill into you existing structures. Learning is not independent. It’s interactive.
Learning doesn’t require effort. At least, it doesn’t always require effort. If I tell you that George Washington’s middle name was Clyde, you might well remember that without effort. It doesn’t matter that it’s not true (they had so few people they didn’t need to have middle names). It only matters that some things seem to stick and others don’t.
This is one of the things you know about learning: sometimes it is easy, sometimes it requires effort.
Another thing you already know is that less is easier to learn than more. This is an obvious truth. A short list is better than a long list.
In addition to varying in difficulty and length, you know that learning often include repetition. When you need to put in effort you usually start with repetition. It doesn’t always work. Repetition helps some things, sometimes, somewhat. You may know there are other things involved in learning than just practice. You may not know all of the factors that are important but you are aware that practice makes perfect, somewhat.
Obviously, thinking is hard work. Your brain uses about 25% of your daily caloric intake. It is working hard. Studying makes you tired, practicing makes you tired and writing a screenplay makes you tired. It doesn’t seem physical but learning is an active process of work.
In my view, there are only three things you can learn: facts, concepts and behaviors. Everything can be categorized into one of those three baskets. Each emphasizes a different part of the brain. Each has it’s own best approach.