>MilSpouse Essay

>The other day I opened my email box and found this:

I would like you to consider submitting an essay for my latest project. More information can be found here: http://militaryspousebooks.blogspot.com, and on the FB page “Military Spouse Books”. I’ve read a bit about your military experiences, the deployment, and especially your R&R tips. I’m working hard to gather essays from Army spouses, combine them in a book format, so that we can share our experiences with spouses who may follow in our footsteps.

First thought: “whoa, really? She thinks I have something worthwhile to say”?
Second thought: “it’s too good to be true”, nobody would spend money to publish an essay written by me. I mean, it’s not like I talk about controversial topics or blog for world peace; no, I talk about my boring mundane life. So, why me?
So, I sent her an email with some questions I had. I wanted to get a better understanding of this project. I wanted to know if it was real! I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Here are the questions I asked:

First off, I need to tell you that I am not an Army wife, I’m actually a Navy wife although my husband is working with the Army now during deployment.  

Assuming you still want my input I have listed a few of my questions to help me make a decision.

Have you written other books? If so, what are the titles, I would like to take a look (if I haven’t already read them).
No, I have not written other books, only articles and columns. I think there’s some info in my bio (posted on the website), but I’ve been doing print work for many years, editing newsletters, etc. I’m working on this project now under mentorship of a few folks. It will be reviewed by them before it is ever printed. Last week I changed my focus based on some amazing insight from a few ladies. They started this project a few years ago, heard about my project through their spouse club, pretty much have handed me their stuff and said, “Run with it!” My original plan was okay, but I’m honored to have their efforts behind this, as well.

Will you be using our real names or can we remain anonymous?
You can use your real name or choose to remain anonymous. That’s up to you.

Are all the contributors from the blogging world? If so, will you publish the name/link to our blog? Can we opt out of that if we choose?
No, not all of the essay contributors are bloggers. While bloggers like to write, and can be very good at writing, they can also be younger in age and experience. I’m looking for a wider range of experiences as military spouses. I’m getting a good number of contributions from my friends, their friends, etc. But the response from bloggers has been amazing. Then it hit me, DUH, bloggers already write and share their experiences! I’m interviewing a bunch of my friends BECAUSE they don’t want to write, aren’t in the practice of writing. I’ll have to transcribe and edit their responses, with their approval, before publishing. But it will be worth the work. 😉
I wouldn’t have a problem listing a contributor as anonymous. Contributors can also opt in or out of listing their blogs (with or w/o description, in addition to their biography). I know a few bloggers who wish to remain anonymous, and will only list their bio w/o their blog info. That way they feel more free to keep blogging. Photos, headshots, are also optional. To be honest, I don’t even like having my picture taken, so I can absolutely understand why some may not want their photos attached to their biographies.
If published, do the contributors receive a free copy? 😉
Essay contributors absolutely receive a free copy of each book that contains an essay of theirs. Depending on the number of essays collected, there will be one book, or three, based on the stated categories. I also plan on donating free copies to Army libraries, and to all military libraries if we actually sell enough books. I would also like to offer a good number to bloggers to giveaway via their blogs, if that’s something they would like to do.
Upon receiving your responses I will plan to blog about this opportunity; may I share your responses to the above questions?
Thank you for your interest in this project. You are welcome to share whatever I’ve posted online, and in this email.

She also gave me some additional info aside from the answers to my questions.
20 years ago I was a scared, new-to-the-Army wife, felt very alone and nervous about everything. I didn’t grow up in the military and didn’t know anyone in the military. When I tell people now that I was shy and afraid to talk to others, they don’t believe me at all. My strength has come from my faith, family and friends, and in that order. The Army life has been a tremendous rollercoaster, and it’s also been a huge blessing. My goal is to gather stories from others so we can ALL share what we’ve learned, and reach out to others who may follow in our footsteps.
Write from your heart, what matters to you. Look at the three categories, the writing suggestions, and see where you might fit in w/your essays. I find it helps to take a notebook with me to write down things as I think about them, so I don’t forget. And then you can help fine-tune the writing, make an outline maybe. I suggest you write about what is familiar to you first. THEN maybe pick a topic that is less familiar to you and share your feelings and thoughts. Survival during deployment is relevant now, but it could also tie into survival overall, being flexible, independent, and how that has helped you in other areas, too. What resources (military and civilian) have helped you get through the deployments? What is life like between deployments, when the unit is at home? What differences have you noticed between Army and Navy living, family support, functions, etc?
I have a general outline of the direction I would like the books to take, but it will depend really on what people have to share.

So, what do you all think? Sounds like a neat idea. I think I am going to start putting together ideas. The link to her site is near the top of this page, so if you are interested go ahead and contact her. She’s very nice, trust me. She is also very quick to respond to emails which is nice (I hate waiting around for answers, lol).

5 thoughts on “>MilSpouse Essay

  1. >I found you through the blog hop I'm new to this whole thing! I live in New England too we just moved here right before all this snow 😦 Check out my blog too there isn't much there yet but there will be plenty to read soon enoughhttp://themizenfamily.blogspot.com/

  2. >Sound kinda neat to me! It's so nice when there are opportunities for us to share our experiences… Not to mention how nice it would be for a book to be out there for new wives. I know I could have used something to show me how things really are. :)Keep us updated on how it turns out!

  3. >That sounds awesome, I would love to buy a copy!:) I am not near skilled enough to try to participate but you should go for it, I love reading your blog!

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