When good ideas flow
One thing I’ve noticed when I sit down to write is that sometimes the ideas flow and I can write for hours, while at other times things can feel forced and I can spend hours without really getting anywhere.
I remember reading a passage on the website gwern.net (a fairly niche blogger with a fairly prolific volume of output), in which he said something along the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing):
“Even though many of my blogs have the level of detail required for academia, I write much faster when I’m blogging than writing for an academic journal, so I decided not to pursue academia.”
This interested me, particularly so because it resonated with some of my personal experiences.
Given the importance of writing a lot, both to get good at writing and to create enough written content to be valuable, I think there’s a strong argument for writing on subjects where the ideas flow.
I once did an experiment where I wrote a blog post every day for 30 days. It often felt pretty laborious and, looking back, I think the average standard was pretty low.
In comparison, one evening I was sitting in the library, and the idea of writing a short guide for medical students entered my head. Four hours of continuous writing later, and I had the skeleton for what later became The Modern Medical Student Manual.
My conclusion is that rather than trying to force ourselves to write on a particular subject, we should look to find subjects where the writing naturally flows; that we should be wary of writing on subjects we think we “should” write on, rather those where we have an inclination. I believe this is one of the central pursuits of any writer.
I’m still trying to identify a central theme for what I like to write on, if there even is one. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying the process.
This Week's Links:
This is a short article from Derek Sivers, where he shares some similar sentiment around forcing yourself to write.
I came across the HS. Health-Tech Podcast, and really enjoyed this episode with Dr Hugh Harvey, a doctor I really admire in the healthcare AI space. He has written some great posts on Medium for those interested.
Have a great week!
Hi! I'm Chris, a Cambridge medicine graduate now working as a doctor in London and exploring a career applying machine learning to medicine. Every weekend I send out an email sharing my experiences, life lessons as I learn them, and links to my favourite things on the internet.
If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
University College London, Gower Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6BT