One of my favorite moments at a Spouse X event is when the writers appear at my elbow. “What can I write for SpouseBuzz?” they ask me.
Some of them are professional writers already. They have their own project to promote and they want to know if we will help—Definitely!
Some of them have a couple of ideas they want to run by me--Fantastic!
My favorites, though, are the ones who aren’t quite sure where to start. I am just the person to ask. Because I’m an idea hamster. I never met an idea that couldn’t be turned into something worth sharing.
If you have been wondering what to write, here are four places you could start.
1. Write your military life hacks.No matter what stage of military life you are in, there is always something you are in the middle of learning. Pass your just-learned military life hacks to our audience.
Did you just do your first awesome move or your fifteenth? Did you finally figure out how to get your service member to take the kids somewhere on his own? How did you discover that fabulous house? Did you and your friends figure out a exercise circle? A babysitting circle? A finance circle? Did you take on a project or discover the trick to getting hired?
If you had to learn it, I guarantee you that we have audience members who are in just the same boat. So write that up as a Top 10. Or “3 Unbelievable Tricks…” or “7 Lessons”
2. Write your Facebook feed.If you are a big Facebook or Twitter user, write about the story that showed up that morning and made you feel something--outrage, fear, sadness, delight. And made you push the "share" button.
The story might be something that is only happening on your base like a strict enforcement of a dress code that means your kid can't wear his favorite SEAL tshirt to school. Or it could be something that is happening to many people like getting passed over or proposed cuts to pay.
It could be something trending on the morning shows like the newest draconian parenting expert on TV.
On these kinds of stories, the important thing is write something right away. If you wait a week the story dies. Remember that on this kind of story, done and sent is better than perfect.
3. Paradise Valley or Ninth Circle of Hell? Where we are stationed now.No matter where you live, there are people who love living there and people who hate it. Your version is your version. Go ahead and own it.
Tell us about your living on base or off base. What’s the traffic really like? Give us some restaurant tips or destination recommendations.
In this “Stationed At” feature, we loved the author's descriptions of the environment in Alaska. We could picture ourselves living at Anchorage, too.
Three feet of standing, never melting, snow reflects the sunlight and creates a magical rosey-golden hue on everything. The birch trees dazzle with white snow and appear to be chock full of diamonds. The ground becomes a pinky white mass (unlike the dirty road slush of roads down south).
We also liked Kate's version of why living in Hawaii isn't paradise. That is important stuff to know before you request orders.
3.Your Dorothy MomentMy favorite part of the Wizard of Oz is at the very end when the Wizard has floated away and Glinda tells Little D that she has always had the power to go home and the Tin Man asks, “What have you learned, Dorothy?”
Right at that moment, Dorothy gets this little pinchy look where she takes a breath and tries to figure out what she did learn from all those flying monkeys and a lion that looks like an area rug.
I love that pinchy moment. For that moment is a learning opportunity—the kind a good life is made of.
You don’t have to go to Oz to collect that kind of wisdom. Some of the most important lessons of your whole life are learned from the things that happen to you in the military.
So tell us about your own Dorothy moments. The minute you figured out you were finally grown up. The day you finally lost it. The moment you realized that you and your soldier would make it. The second you knew for sure that this was the end of your first marriage. The class that convinced you that you found your career.
That kind of sharing of specific, detail-rich, emotional moments draw people together.
And that’s what we are about at SpouseBuzz—living the life, loving a service member, sharing the journey.