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Twists and Turns

A New Direction for the Military Spouse Book


When I began working on the military spouse book I had a very clear picture of what it would look like. That was a modern version of Chicken Soup for the Military Wife’s Soul. My goal was 20-30 military spouses submitting a personal story, poem or even work of fiction approximately 3 pages in length or less. 

As I brainstormed I considered including simple graphics behind encouraging statements relating to the military spouse life. Military members get a coin or some other form of recognition for their work. I wanted to create something free for military spouses to get or give each other.

I also decided to add hyperlinks in the book to click on if the reader had an ebook and a link to type if the reader had a paperback. These hyperlinks would be an extension of that section. For example, I began working on a free printable blank comic for a parent to print. He or she would then give it to the child to fill out to go in a care package to a deployed parent.

The more I worked on the book the more it took shape. Working on any work of art (yes, I do believe writing is art), you slowly shape the clay, drawing or book into the piece you envisioned it. However, sometimes along the way the art twists and turns in unexpected ways. Sometimes the finished work looks completely different from how you imagined it would before you started. 

Whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction I’m a heavy plotter. I create a short outline and then expand it into a lengthy point by point document. After I’ve plotted all I can, I’ll then go and write for each section. While this makes writing easier it makes twists and turns more difficult. When I plan something the more I chew on the idea the more it feels set like drying cement. However, when the art turns in an unexpected direction, even when the new direction feels true to the core of the art I have a hard time considering it. 


The military spouse book I’ve been working on for about a year is slowly forming. Along the way I’ve wondered if the book will need to go in a different direction. I’ve felt the pull towards it, but resisted. First of all, I’ve resisted because I’m stubborn. Also, I don’t want to waste any of the work I’ve put into the set path I began on. 

Going a different direction feels like going backward not forward. Then there’s others who’ve helped me along the way. I don’t want to let them down if their help is still used, but in a different way than what was expected.

Once the book full of stories published I planned on also offering a place for continual sharing on my website. However, while I still plan on encouraging military spouses to share their stories on my blog, in place of 20 or more stories going into the book I’m now hoping to get 20 or more quotes. I’ll collect short chunks of inspiration and direction instead of longer pieces. 

I’ve kept my finger on the pulse of the military spouse community, and at least for this project collecting quotes is the turn I’m now taking. I still plan on including in the book hyperlinks for additional content. I’ve also already begun working on the simple graphics (Check out the Brag Board section for more like the one below). 


While talking with my friend I expressed the main point I want to share is how important community is in surviving and thriving in this life. I’m working on a new title which is community centered and rewriting the prologue and epilogue.

The other book I’ve compared this project with is Steal Like an Artist. It’s full of quotes and even some pictures. In addition to that the author wrote ten short sections around his main concept. I plan on writing ten(ish) sections focused on community and its importance.

If you would like to add a quote to the book I’d love to consider it. It can be by a famous person or one you came up with yourself. Drop it into the comment section below. 

Also, if you have any milspouse community related questions or recommendations you’d like me to address in the book post those as well.

Thank you to those who’ve worked on submissions. I look forward to posting them on my blog!

Thank you to everyone who has been willing to go on this journey with me. It’s been full of ups and downs. Not only have I learned a lot as a writer, but also grown closer to those of you who’ve been helping me with this project along the way. J

If you'd like to join my in this adventure check out:

Curved Road photo by paisan191 at free digital photos. Cement under construction photo courtesy of cbenjasuwan at free digital photos

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Erica W. wrote:
I know change can be frustrating, but it sounds like you've already found a great new direction to go with the book. I'm excited to see where it ends up! Besides, the only constant in a military life is change ;)

Sun, May 22, 2016 @ 2:26 PM

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