That's done (sorta); now what do I need to do?

Monkey writer

I managed to meet the deadline that I had set up for myself with my textbook project just over a week ago– at least technically I met the deadline. This “on-again/off-again” project has been “on-again” in the past six or eight months, so I’m feeling confident about my progress and possibilities of finishing this project, or at least more confident than I have felt in the past. Of course, there’s still a fair amount of work that needs to be done, more revisions and such, it still has to be sent out to readers (yet again), if it’s approved it will take a year or more to actually publish, and even with all that, there is still no guarantee that this thing will ever actually appear as a textbook. Someday, when the dust for all this settles, I’d like to write something about the textbook writing experience. It’s been an education, no question about it.

Anyway, I worked on this a lot for the last 10 days or so, and this morning, the day after I emailed stuff to the editors, I have this odd “what now?” kind of feeling. Frankly, I know “what now”: I have to get ready for that pesky fall semester that is going to be starting here in about two weeks. I need to tidy-up my blogs and some other web projects. I should do at least a little thinking and reading about my longer-term project on the history or writing technologies before the computer (btw, thanks to Dennis Jerz to this link of Flickr picts of “writing machines,” mostly typewriters). And I am also interested in trying to focus some more time on actually trying to read the scholarship in my field and less time in trying to create more of it.

Not to mention I have a life, which includes a seriously neglected garden and a flabby body that needs to get to the gym. Immediately.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I know the answer to the question of this post. It’s just a matter of convincing myself that I need to go on to something else, I suppose. Okay contemplative monkey– get to work then!

4 thoughts on “That's done (sorta); now what do I need to do?”

  1. McGraw-Hill. It’s actually a book designed for the research writing part of a first year comp class, and while it does contain some “computer stuff” and such, it’s a “computer textbook” per se.

    And while I’m at it, I’ll mention two of the positive “lessons I’ve learned” from all this. First off, I think everybody who takes their teaching seriously ought to attempt to write a “textbook,” at least for themselves. I for one have learned a lot more about my own teaching from the process.

    Second, textbooks really ought to “count” for scholarship. They do at EMU and I know they do at a lot of places, but I also know they don’t at a lot of other places, and I think that’s a shame. For me, it’s been hard work and I think textbook writing is a difficult “writerly” problem, one that requires a lot of the same kind of thing that it takes to produce scholarship.

    I’ve got some “less positive” lessons too, but let’s see if this book makes it through the review process first….

  2. I enjoyed writing a textbook. But for me, it wasn’t so difficult since most of the material came out of my courses.
    I’m not so sure I would give a blanket – all textbooks should count as scholarship, though. Most textbooks – and I don’t mean yours – are just lifted from one another. Others are just a bunch of readings and all the writing the author did is the four-five questions at the end. If I were on a T&P committee, I’d rather see the book first hand.

  3. Oh, I agree that it depends on the textbook. Of course, I think it depends on the “scholarly” book too. And it depends on the school and what you mean by scholarship and the T&P committee and….

    BTW, my book started from materials that came out of my courses, but very soon, it became something else– mostly more and better– than that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.