Vivian’s TikTok Tsunami

After watching my very first TikTok video last spring, I was hooked. It swept into my life like a tsunami and never left. I knew this was just what I needed, exactly what I was looking for.

But first let’s rewind:  When I retired, I went from being a somebody in my dream job, to a senior with too much time on her hands. I wanted to do something completely different and off the beaten track, something incredible. So I wrote a book.

It was an amazing and exhausting experience. I’d wake up in the middle of the night with mind-blowing (I thought so) scenarios for the characters in my book, and then I’d sleep until noon the next day, carrying on my day in a drowsy zombie-like state. This went on for 2 years. When the book was finally finished, it was all up to me to market it. That’s the life of an Indie author. I took online courses, sold the book through the traditional online methods and at times it was a bit like paddling up stream.

I should mention that I relate a lot of things in my life to fishing, because one of my favorite pastimes is fishing from a kayak.

Fast-forward to when I saw that first TikTok video, I was all in… hook, line and sinker. I immediately thought that creating my own video content might connect me to a new community. They might like me enough to buy my book, even if they weren’t interested in an old lady travelling back to the 60s with her two grandchildren in a machine built by her husband. I just knew that I needed to find my community.  And boy did I get one.

My first TikTok was posted on April 1, 2021, and by the end of December, I had gathered 300K followers!

I always envied those who jumped into TikTok sooner, like the many people who started in March 2020. I was very aware that people were getting back to normal, and might not have so much time to watch videos. But I was wrong.  And much to my surprise, I didn’t feel driven to use the platform to sell my book. I was having too much fun creating content, doing skits and sharing my unexpected humor with my followers.

Like a good fisherman, attitude is everything. A good day is getting a nibble; a great day is just being there. And then, when the big one bites, it’s an adrenalin rush so life altering that you never wanna do anything else.

For me, that was my first viral video with 2.2M views!

Although I had every intention of writing another book, even a series, there are only so many hours in a day, even for a retired senior. And don’t be fooled, being “TikTok famous” takes time!  I have six grandchildren, I paint, and I’m learning to play the piano.

For this baby boomer rapidly approaching her 70’s, I’m having way too much fun planning and creating my TikTok content so authoring another book will have to take a back seat for now.

In the meantime, when the TikTok algorithm rocks my boat in the wrong direction, and sometimes it does… I say to myself: I can weather this storm, paddle through the waves and carry on. Some videos will fly and some will die. But like fishing, it’s always a great day just being there!

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