Tuesday Tidbits #8- Go ahead and write that controversial post

Happy Tuesday all you awesome people! I hope you experience only the best things this week!

Today’s Tidbit comes from something I think a lot of bloggers experience at one time or another in their blogging journey: we have with an opinion that’s unpopular or controversial, and we get too nervous to post it!

But posting that controversial idea, whether it’s a review, a discussion, or just some unpopular opinions, can be the absolute best, for a few reasons!

First off, it often draws more attention to your blog! Of my five most popular posts, three of them were unpopular opinions of some kind or another. Plus, if I’m scrolling through my feed, and I see that someone has posted something I might disagree with, I’m more interested in reading it. I love seeing new perspectives on things!

Secondly, there’s no need to be nervous! The blogging community is amazing! As long as you stay respectful and open-minded when you write your opinion, the blogging community will do the same. So your post can lead to some incredible, surprising discussions!

So if you’ve ever felt nervous about writing a controversial post, I want to encourage you to go ahead and do it! It can lead to some pretty awesome stuff on your blog!


Thanks for reading!

How about you? Do you enjoy reading about controversial or unpopular opinions? Was there ever an opinion that you were too nervous to blog about? Let me know in the comments below!

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Tuesday Tidbit #6- Who’s confused about whom? (AKA- when to use who and whom)

Happy Tuesday to all you amazing people! I hope you had an awesome weekend!

I don’t know if it’s come across in my past couple Tidbit posts, but I kind of love grammar. And, since many of you are headed back to school/college/uni in a little while, I figured this is the month to gush about grammar!

This week’s Tidbit is all about knowing who’s who. Or rather, when to use who and whom. We’ve all seen a television show or movie where they let the audience know who the “smart one” is by having them correct someone with a quiet *ahem* “whoooom.” But if you’re going to be writing essays, or books, or blog posts, it might be helpful to actually know the difference between the two.

Just like a lot of grammar rules, there’s a trick to remembering which word to use when.

When to use “who:”

According to the official rule, “who” is used “to refer to the subject of the sentence.” All this means is if the answer to the question is “he” or “she,” use “who.” FOR EXAMPLE:

Who stole Captain Holt’s Medal of Honor?” “He did, the one and only Jake Peralta.”

Because the subject is “he/she,” you would use “who.”

When to use “whom:”

Officially, “whom” is used “to refer to the object of a verb or preposition.” Basically, where “who” refers to “he/she,” our friend “whom” refers to “him/her.” FOR EXAMPLE:

“To whom do I address this RSVP?” “You should send it to her, the bride.”

So whenever you’re gonna answer with “him/her,” you’d use “whom.”

This is one of those tiny details that will help take your essays, novel, or blog posts stand out to anyone who’ll be reading your work!


Thanks for reading!

Did this help you at all? Did you know the difference between the who and whom? Are there any other writing-related rules you’re confused by? Let me know in the comments below!

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Tuesday Tidbits #5- Use an outline to make blogging a bit easier

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a great week so far!

Today’s Tidbit is something that I had to learn the hard way. When I first started blogging, I used to get pretty stressed out when it came time to actually write my posts. I loved brainstorming ideas, I loved reading books, but when it actually came time to write the reviews or discussion posts, my brain would lock up, and I would have no idea how to get what was in my head onto my laptop. If you’ve ever been through this, you know how frustrating it can be!

A great way to help get through this kind of “blogger’s block”, is to try coming up with a general outline for your posts. For example, When I write my book reviews, I use my 3-2-1 rule. I stick to three points. If it’s a mostly negative review, I’ll use two negative points and try to say at least one positive thing. If it’s a mostly positive review, I’ll rave about two awesome things, and then mention something that may turn some people off. It’s super simple, but helps me keep my thoughts organized before I even start typing!

For me, it takes a lot of the stress away, because when I sit down to write a post, I already know, generally, what it’ll look like, I just have to fill in the missing pieces. Plus, keeping it to a more general outline leaves room for creativity. I can know the basic structure of my post, but my readers won’t find my posts monotonous. It also allows for adjustments, so if I thought a book was particularly amazing, or maybe really problematic, I can break out of the outline without feeling completely lost without my “mold.”

So if you find that writing your blog posts can be a little stressful, try coming up with a general outline for each type of post you write. It helps make writing posts easier and faster!


Thanks for reading!

Have you ever felt a little “blogger block” when writing a post? How do you get over the stress to get the post written? Do you use a general outline for your posts, or has something else worked better for you? Let me know in the comments below!

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Tuesday Tidbits #3- How to use semicolons

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week so far!

Fun fact about me: I have a favorite punctuation mark, and, you guessed it, it’s the semicolon. Why? That’s a great question. Maybe it’s because it took so long for me to understand it. Maybe it’s because, once I finally did understand, I found it so useful. Maybe it’s because it’s so widely misunderstood. Whatever the reason, I love the semicolon, and as bloggers, writers, and even readers, it’s helpful to understand how this little buddy works.

I’ve seen a lot of confusion around the semicolon, so I’m gonna do my best to explain its two main uses, because I think the semicolon is underappreciated.

Main use #1 is “to connect two closely related independent clauses.”

When I first heard this, it was more frustrating than helpful, but it’s actually simpler than it sounds. All this means is if the thing can be broken into two complete sentences, but you want your reader to know the two ideas are closely linked, use a semicolon. FOR EXAMPLE:

“Ice cream is my favorite dessert; it really sucks that it’s not part of a complete breakfast.”

Both parts of that statement can make their own independent sentence: “I like ice cream” and “It really sucks that it’s not part of a complete breakfast” are both complete sentences. BUT I want you to know they are closely linked in my brain (possibly because I really wanted ice cream for breakfast) so I used a semicolon to connect two separate sentences into one related thought.

If the two thoughts CANNOT make up two different, complete sentences, use a comma or colon instead.

Main use #2 is to separate lists that already have commas.

I call this one the list within lists rule. Basically, to avoid too many commas, use semicolons to separate lists within lists. FOR EXAMPLE:

“I have favorites for each meal. For breakfast, I prefer cereal, bagels, or ice cream; for lunch, I like fruits, wraps, and sandwiches; for dinner, I’m all about fajitas.

Because I have a comma to separate each meal option, I use a semicolon to separate each meal group. Basically, semicolons separate the bigger list pieces from the smaller lists inside.


Thanks for reading!

Did this help you understand semicolons a little better? Do you have a favorite punctuation mark, or is that just me? Is there anything you’d like to see in a Tuesday Tidbit? Let me know in the comments below!

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Tuesday Tidbits #2- When to use “less” and when to use “fewer”

Now, I wouldn’t call myself a Grammar Nazi, exactly. More like a friendly Grammar Neighborhood Watch.

When it comes down to it, internet slang and grammar slip ups don’t really bother me, but if you’re writing a book or a blog post or an essay, you want to make sure your writing stands out by being as grammatically correct as possible.

One thing I notice a lot is when someone uses “less” when they should use “fewer.” I can’t help it; it’s a reaction left over from my Writing Tutor days. Seriously, I never felt closer to Stannis Baratheon than in these moments:

Fewer

Basically, every sign you see that says “10 items or less” is JUST WRONG! The rule is actually super simple; if you can count it, use “fewer,” if not, use “less.” So, you would have fewer items, but less stuff. Fewer dollars, but less money. Fewer books, but less happiness.

Knowing the difference is just one of those little things that can really make you stand out as a writer (or blogger or student)!


Thanks for reading!

Are there any little grammar issues that get under your skin?  Do you think I’m a grammar Nazi for being so particular about this?  Let me know in the comments below!

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Tuesday Tidbits #1- A tip for blogging when your brain just won’t cooperate

Happy Tuesday to all you lovely people! As most of you probably know, I’ve been cutting back on the number of posts I write, but I wanted there to be more than just discussions and tags on my blog! So I’m introducing Tuesday Tidbits! These posts are going to be SUPER short- only about 300 words tops. They’re just little pieces of advice I think will be helpful!

Tuesday Tidbits can be about anything remotely book-related: from reading, to blogging, to writing, to just my every day, book-loving life!


My very first tidbit post deals with something most of us have dealt with. I happens to me a lot: I want to get my newest post all shiny and ready to be published, but when I sit down to actually write the thing, my brain just won’t do words! The reason can be anything; sometimes I’m tired, or I’d rather be reading, or I’m just in a mini-blogging slump.

If you’ve ever been there, you know how frustrating it can be! In my case, I sometimes have to trick my own brain into actually writing a post.

I’ll tell myself that I’m only going to start with an easy, bite-size piece. I’ll just write the introduction to the post, then I’ll go do something else if I’m still not feeling it. That way, my non-cooperative brain goes, “Yeah, I guess I can get through writing just one paragraph. No problem!” Usually, by the time the intro is done, the blogging part of my brain has finally turned on, and I can get through the rest of the post easy-peasy.

Even in the rare cases where it doesn’t work (sometimes my brain really does just need a break, and that’s okay!) and I have to leave the rest of the post for another day, at least I have an introduction, which is more than the blank page I started with when I sat down.

So if you’re ever stuck on while writing a post, try tricking your brain by committing to just a small piece, and leaving it if it’s still not working.


Thanks for reading!

What about you? Have you ever felt really stuck while writing a post? Do you have any advice for getting past that? If you’ve never felt stuck before, can you PLEASE TEACH ME YOUR WAYS?? Let me know in the comments below!

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