Nope, you guys aren’t seeing double.
I actually did a whole how-to post about this back in May – if you want to check it out, you can find it here – but, since then, I’ve changed the structure of my discussion posts, so I thought that I would post a more updated how-to guide of writing discussion posts for newer followers (or for people who have been around for longer and just want EVEN MORE advice)!
When it comes to talking about the issue, this is basically the most objective point-of-view. I usually talk about a certain event if that’s what started it – for a weird example, if someone said that people who like to read also like to eat vegetables (which IS OBVIOUSLY FALSE) on Twitter, and it causes a lot of controversy, and I decide I want to chime in with my opinion, this is where I’ll mention the infamous Tweet here.
If the discussion topic doesn’t center around someone else’s influence or something that’s specifically going on, I’ll just summarize the general thoughts on the topic or the situation in this area. For example, when I talked about making time for blogging, nothing specific really caused me to talk about it, so I made a general statement about juggling everything as a blogger is clearly a ton of work.
I feel like this part is pretty self-explanatory. I usually talk about why the topic I’m discussing is happening or why I’m discussing the topic in the first place. This can be objective or subjective depending on what the topic is. For example, when it came to talking about the dilemma of reading diverse books as a diverse reader, that was more of a personal experience, so the why behind it was just based off of my own experiences. When it came to my discussion about whether diverse books are diverse enough, the experiences I relayed about those in the bookish community who feel as if women-loving women are represented way less than gay and bisexual men don’t reflect my own since I’m straight, so that was obviously reflecting more of an objective point of view.
Sometimes, the “why” behind my discussion posts isn’t really that sophisticated, and I don’t bother to make it that way. There are a couple of discussion posts where I just say “I’m curious” or “It’s a complicated issue” in this section because that basically summarizes the reasons behind it. I don’t feel the need to waste words just to stretch out a post and make it longer!
This is definitely the most subjective part when it comes to the discussion, and also the meat of it! Depending on what type of post I’m writing, I’ll be talking about different things or using different devices.
I’ve talked about more personal experiences, such as the dilemma of reading diverse books, which usually leads to lots of rambling and baring a more personal side of myself. When it came to my discussion about how I write my blog posts, I explained the process behind how I planned, organized, and wrote them. When it came to talking about time management when it comes to blogging, I gave a couple of tips as to how I did it. Depending on what I’m talking about, I’ll discuss different things.
I’ll also cite my sources as well! Sometimes I’ll want to link to other people’s reviews or blog posts to back up my points or reference what I’m discussing that might not be public knowledge just so everyone can get a clear picture.
Don’t be scared to write discussions. I’ve talked about this in a previous discussion post, but just don’t be afraid to write them. I swear, it’s really not as scary as it seems. Even for discussion posts that I was absolutely terrified to write and publish, everything worked out just fine, and there was really no reason for me to be freaking out so much. If you want to write a discussion post, write it.
Do be respectful. Obviously, there’s no need to be scathingly rude when writing a discussion post. There are ways to put opinions, no matter how unpopular, that won’t make people feel bad for having them
Don’t act like you’re right. Unless the subject matter I’m discussing is more personal, I try to act like my opinion isn’t the only one that exists nor the right one (the key word is “try” here). It really closes a discussion down if I don’t try to talk about a subject from all sides or discuss the pros and cons of a certain issue. Obviously, I can’t include all the opinions of ever on a subject, but at least I can try.
Do be open to discussion. Well, it’s a discussion post after all, so expect people to discuss! You can’t expect every person to agree with your thoughts and opinions, which is perfectly fine – the world would be boring if we did. This also doesn’t mean you have to agree with someone who differs from you or sugarcoat your opinion; if it’s an opinion you really believe in, and said commenter didn’t change your mind, then stick with it. I feel like some people feel the need to back down when they don’t agree, no matter what side they fall on, and that shouldn’t be the case.
Don’t be scared of the comments section. Really, don’t. I’ve published who knows how many discussion posts on this blog, and in total, I’ve probably only gotten ten or so really rude or passive-aggressive comments (and one of them wasn’t even on a discussion post, but a tag!), and I never let them ruin my day, especially since after I responded, they never bother to acknowledge me ever again. Most people in the blogging community are really nice!
Do take care of yourself. Seriously, if writing a certain discussion post is stressing you out or you don’t want to talk about a controversial topic or thinking of publishing the post is making you panic, then on behalf of your mental health, ask yourself if you really need to. I’ve saved myself from publishing certain discussion posts just because I’m such a worrier. Blogging isn’t something that should be stressful, so don’t feel the need to “sacrifice” yourself to do it.
Don’t feel forced to write one. There might seem to be a huge push to always publish discussion after discussion when it comes to blogging since they’re pretty popular and most people enjoy reading them, but don’t feel the need to write one if you don’t want to. If you feel like you can’t think up any good ideas or you don’t like writing them, then don’t. No one should feel forced to write something they don’t need to.
Do be proud of yourself. You wrote a discussion post, so feel good about yourself! They can be pretty tough to write, so congratulations if you manage to write and publish one!