Not as simple as you thought to play the soft touch drill? Did you go way past the side pocket? Bring your bridge hand greatly forward, perhaps an inch or two from the white ball at most. Bring forward the shooting hand along the cuestick too, far forward of where you typically hold it. This "choking up" on the stick will give you added control.
Remember, to make a legal stroke there must be a smooth forward stroking motion--you are disallowed from pushing the cue ball with the tip like a broom, you must hit the ball.
This drill stroke will save you hundreds of times when a gentle defensive safety is needed. Enjoy!