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Avoiding Superficiality: The future of this weekly email

When I started writing this weekly email, three months ago, I intentionally didn’t have a coherent th
Avoiding Superficiality: The future of this weekly email
By Chris Lovejoy • Issue #12 • View online
When I started writing this weekly email, three months ago, I intentionally didn’t have a coherent theme, structure or plan about what I was going to write on. I just got started, adopting the maxim “it’s easier to change direction if you’re moving forward”, and I’m glad that I did so.
I’ve enjoyed writing the emails each week, but I haven’t felt that it’s “clicked” yet – and now I think I know why:
The approach that I’ve been taking has pushed me towards sharing “superficial”/surface-level ideas for a few factors:
Firstly, I always try and keep the length of the emails to a minimum. I follow the one email-one central idea approach. 
Secondly, when I write on a different subject each week, and each email has to be self-contained, it reduces the potential to go deep into a subject - particularly in combination with the first point.

This week, I believe I have come up with the solution.
A couple of nights ago, I was editing the third video in my series on productivity and study tips, which I’m currently sharing on my YouTube channel.
I realised that I have enjoyed the whole process of filming, editing and sharing these videos far more than earlier videos that I made, and I asked myself why.
I realised that there is a lot of value in making series: By committing to recording and sharing a series of 7 videos, and spending the whole day filming them, I gave myself the space to go much deeper into the subject, and also the incentive to take them more seriously.
For me, and the type of content I want to make, I believe this works much better.
So going forward, I’m going to apply this principle to the videos I make, and to this weekly email.
I’m going to think of a ‘theme’ or series, then write multiple emails/make multiple videos on that theme. I believe this will enable me to (i) go deeper into particular subjects and (ii) not get bored of having to confine myself to a specific theme indefinitely.

I have some ideas for upcoming themes, but these are subject to change:
  • “Living the life we want to live” which I believe can ultimately be broken down into: (i) making good decisions and (ii) having the consistency to execute on those decisions. I may write several pieces about both the first and second parts.
  • The productive parent. I became a parent towards the end of 2019, and it’s been a fair adjustment to say the least. I want to write some thoughts on parenthood for people coming from a productivity-mindset, as I would consider myself one but haven’t been able to find anything that’s resonated with me.
  • Doing vs documenting. I am continuously trying to find the balance between focussing on doing things and spending time documenting what I’m doing in the hope it will benefit others, and want to reflect on this more formally.

I also have a few video series planned, including one on machine learning for healthcare, which I will share on this list as I create them.
I hope that by taking this new approach, I will better be able to both enjoy the process and generate insights that may be valuable.

Experimental video: reading medical AI papers
I shared an experimental video this week: it’s 45 minutes of me reading and commenting on the latest papers applying AI to medicine.
It was relatively easy to record and I really enjoyed it, but I’m aware a 45 minute video reduces the potential audience interest. I’m debating how best to proceed format-wise, to ensure the videos aren’t too difficult to make while still being engaging for as wide an audience as possible. Open to thoughts!
Doctor reacts to latest medical AI research papers | January 2020
Doctor reacts to latest medical AI research papers | January 2020
That’s everything for today - have a great week!
As always, I’ve love any thoughts or feedback,
Chris
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Chris Lovejoy

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.

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