27 January, 2012

Global Threats

English: An anxious person
Image via Wikipedia
The ink is dry on the contract for the new textbook I'm to co-author.  It's entitled Global Threats (CQ Press, 2013), and I'm a little anxious about it.  Last time I tried to write a textbook it was on Soviet politics--and the Soviet Union collapsed.  Trying to keep up with what was happening, while it happening, was impossible. Even if I could have kept up with everything up to the day I handed in my sections, the book would have been overtaken by events long before it was out the door of the publisher.  Trying to do the impossible produced a lot of unnecessary anxiety then, and thinking about it still triggers a little anxiety today.

The good news is I know better now than to attempt the impossible.  As long as I keep my perfectionist tendencies in line, this new book should not only be possible, but fun.  How often do I get (paid) to speculate on as many possibilities as I can think of for the collapse of nations and civilizations?  The book encourages brainstorming, and that's one of my favorite activities.  It's as if I get to write a bad science fiction novel without the going to the trouble of developing believable characters.

So if I get anxious it's my own fault: I'm the one who can choose to set the bar higher than any real person can achieve, or worry about how my work will be received by others.  Instead, I'll do my best to produce good work and have some fun.


B said...

Sounds interesting. If you're giving out copies I'd welcome the chance to read one

Daniel McIntosh said...

I'd love to have you read it. Meanwhile, I keep plugging away, a little bit each day, wondering how much will make it into the final product.