Sunday, March 8, 2015

Confessions: How NOT to Plagiarize

Confessions of an Insomniac Book Devourer #16

Recently, there has been a rash of plagiarism in the book blogging community. Although this strange phenomena has been reported before, it seems like this is sort of the broken record of all the blogging communities: people choose to try and get away with blatant copy-and-pasting or idea snatching, and the same people get burned by doing it. Why, then does it seem like such a good option? As someone who believes people are inherently good, but still fallible, it seems strange that they would immediately resort to plagiarism when there's so many other options out there. What options, you ask? Well, I'll tell you about some I've considered when my brain explodes and I need to seek immediate medical attention:

Options for Those Who Get Overwhelmed at Balancing Life and Blogging, (like a Normal Human Being):

1. Ask your blogger friends for guest posts and/or reviews.
It's best to have an idea of the post for the blogger friend to write about before querying them, but this is a pretty solid option because the people who read your friend's blog may not read yours, and vice versa. If I hear someone I'm following has written a guest post, I almost always check it out if they provide a link. When asking for reviews, make sure the genre of book would suit your blog and not take away from their blog: don't ask for a review of the hottest, the latest, or the greatest book when you know they're probably planning to review it for their blog. A better option would be their take on an older book you've reviewed on your blog before and give two perspectives on the same book for the readers of your blog, giving them a more thorough picture of the pros and cons of the book.

2. Find or make up some memes.
Memes are the lifeblood of the blogging world. There are hundreds to choose from, and most come with a built-in group of commenters (other bloggers who participate in the same meme). If you can't find a meme that you like, make up your own memes like I did, but check around to make sure the idea/name of your meme isn't highly similar to someone else's.

3. Write a slightly off topic post.
My blog is rather the place for these. Occasionally, I'll do a holiday post, like my Happy Valentine's Day one. If it isn't a holiday, I'll find a reason to dress up my pups, like when I posted pics of my An Ugly (Dog) Sweater Holiday Card. If I'm thinking about a book that isn't in my usual genres, I whip up an Out of Orbit Critique, which prove to be (sometimes) more popular than my regular genre reviews. I've also come up with some monthly themed posts, like when I did Mini Macabre Review Monday during the month of October to celebrate my love of Edgar Allan Poe scary stories. Chances are, if you don't do a review of the hottest, the latest, or the greatest novel on your scheduled day for reviews, the world will not implode*.

4. Reduce your blogging commitments or schedule.
Sometimes our blogging goals can be almost unattainable, especially if you're running on empty. Reducing your output of posts doesn't have to be a permanent solution, but it should help alleviate some of the pressure on your reading and writing habits.

From Giphy
5. Take a hiatus.
Chances are, if none of the above options suit you and you still can't grind out a review or other post, you need to recharge your blogging muscles and/or your sanity and step back from the keyboard. You might need a week, a month, or several months before you feel like coming back, but it's likely you'll be more inspired after you do.

From Giphy
6. Find a co-blogger.
Although I'm not sold on this myself (because my blog is about Me, Myself, My Dogs, My Plants, and I), if you're constantly running out of juice or generally overwhelmed, it's time to find a co-blogger (or two). Make a post or put something on your sidebar notifying your readers you're looking for a co-blogger who reads and writes about the genres you love. If you don't find a candidate within a month or so, try advertising on book blogger communities (or even ask some of your Goodreads friends). I personally love reading book blogs where there is more than one contributor because there's more variety in opinion without having to search multiple Lone Ranger blogs.

[Link to "Help!" music by the Beatles for mobile devices]

7. If all else fails, post a video of the eminently catchy song "Help!" by the Beatles and ask for help on your blog.
I'm only slightly kidding with this one. Chances are, if you post a cry for blogging help on your blog or other social media, someone will listen and give you better, more tailor-made advice for your blog than I'm capable of providing in this dinky little Confession.

8. Remember to breathe.
Although it sometimes seems like it is our entire life and we'd be lost without it, blogging is a relatively new invention that doesn't make the world go 'round. I would hope there would be a more important thing in your life to inscribe on your gravestone than the epitaph of "He/She wrote a blog". Blogging is much less important than being healthy, happy, and not constantly stressed out.

*It is not guaranteed by me that the world will not implode if you don't post a review of the hottest, the latest, or the greatest novel on your scheduled day for reviews. Therefore, use extreme caution when not posting those reviews. It might be dangerous.

            Until Tuesday,


  1. I think it all comes back to remembering that this is a fun hobby. That's it. If you try to make it more or if you competitive, then you are going to stress out.

  2. I think it comes back to remembering that this is a fun hobby. If you get competitive, then you will stress out instead of having fun.

    1. I agree- and I still don't understand why people get so caught up in this hobby that they feel they have to take someone else's words. I got into this blogging thing so I'd have a place to have my words (and opinion) displayed, not someone else's.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Heather!
      ~Litha Nelle


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