Approaching my one year anniversary of blogging I wanted to reflect on why I blog, and what is so important, to me, as a military spouse blogger. Perhaps I can enlighten those who are seeking to start their own blogs in the process.
Last March, after finally settling into my new and unfamiliar West Coast home, I decided that creating a blog would help in expanding my creativity, while allowing me to document my journey as a military spouse along the way. Because I wanted my first blog to discuss my experiences as a Marine wife, I decided to join the military spouse (milspouse) community and dedicated my blog to “being a Marine wife”. Of course this meant a lengthy discussion took place with my husband, but I will touch on that later.
What I have gained through my experience thus far as a milspouse blogger has been more than I could have imagined. It opened me to a world of both support and knowledge. I have been able to connect and share with so many amazing spouses, and have gained nothing but respect for my followers and those I follow. During this course I have learned more about being a military spouse than I anticipated, while being thoroughly entertained. It has also opened up prospects for volunteer opportunities, such as becoming a writer for the Homefront United Network.
I have also found out a lot about myself through blogging. Looking back at past entries has shown the progress I have made throughout my time as a military spouse, and has helped manage my chaotic thoughts. I have found an outlet to explore feelings, or just share silly ideas. And above anything I’ve learned I have a passion for writing, and can’t imagine my life without it now. I am grateful for everything that has come from blogging. And I look forward to continue expanding with my experience.
However, while I know that my blog is important to me, it also can affect someone else who I care deeply for – my husband. When we discussed me creating a blog about being a military spouse I was informed that if I were to write about our life publicly it needed to be censored in certain ways. While I have given my first name, you will not find my husband’s name on my blog anywhere. And any pictures I post of him are obscure enough to not be recognizable unless you know him, of course. I was also told not to write too in depth about deployments, and never to discuss what he does in the Corps, which includes talking about his unit. All of these rules were set in place to protect my husband from being recognized, and respecting him as a service member.
The understanding of these simple guidelines is a responsibility I accepted when deciding to make a blog about being a Marine wife, and they are important to me. But since my blog isn’t completely anonymous and my husband’s unit is aware of its existence, I have added to my guidelines. I have decided, on my own, that writing negatively about anything related to the military is something I shouldn’t ever do. Of course I whine and complain about training exercises, and I am sure a deployment will enhance those, but making bold negative statements is something I will stay clear of. While I understand I have the freedom of speech, I am also a representation of my husband. And what I say reflects on him, unfortunately. And the harsh reality of this is a sham, but it’s a part of the territory. And I rather keep my blog free of stain than find out my husband has been spoken to about my actions. This would be my first advice for anyone who is planning on writing a public milspouse blog.
But with that said, I understand that aspect of my blog is my own personal requirement for myself. But I find it to be an important guideline to follow. Being a military spouse you have to take responsibilities that may be a pain and perhaps a bit unfair. But they are all imperative to your spouse’s career and life. There are times I feel like I want to vent and get real, but I can save that for a non-military blog or journal, that is made private. But for now, I love being a milspouse blogger. The support you gain from writing is amazing. And I recommend everyone to create some type of journal. It is extremely therapeutic. Just remember if your blog, or journal, is made public respect your spouses as service members.