Why would a woman in her 50s go on Tiktok? Why would I change up a blog that’s been noodling along just fine for fourteen years?
Maybe you remember how I posted about sending out my book proposal a year ago. Maybe you remember how in January of this year my brain exploded and I realized that maybe my book was something more than a homeschooling story.
Basically, my book exploded too. And by exploded, I mean that it’s become something different, and bigger, and I’m really excited about it.
I’ve rewritten my proposal. Do you know that book proposals have sections titled Audience? Titled Marketing Strategy? I need to lay out who the audience will be for this book, and how I’ll connect with them.
The newly exploded book is all about youth autonomy. I see three major audiences:
- homeschooling parents
- non-homeschooling parents who question societal norms
- educators interested in promoting youth autonomy
(I also have a lot of writer friends who don’t fit one of these categories–I hope you’re coming along on this ride too!)
Most of you are here because you fit one of these categories. Many of you are devoted readers who have been here for a long time–and your kids grew up with mine.
I need to connect with younger parents and educators. And we’ve all been told: the kids are on TikTok.
But before we get to TikTok, let me tell you why you might want to keep reading here.
I’d like my blog posts to have something for each of you. I’ll keep posting here, but I’m turning the style of the posts into what you might see in a newsletter. I want a section where experienced parents, homeschoolers, and educators can offer wisdom to younger folks. ❤️ I want a place where writers and book-lovers like me can share what they’re loving. ❤️ I want to keep including links to things I love because you seem to love those too. ❤️
My goal is to make the content here more engaging for a variety of audiences. Check out the sections below–can I do it?
Meanwhile, back to Tiktok. It’s a platform that works differently from Facebook and Instagram. Instead of showing videos just to your followers, it shares them with people it thinks might be interested–how YouTube works too. Supposedly the Tiktok algorithm is excellent and if you’re making good content, like-minded folks will find you.
It’s a little baffling though. I’ve made 22 videos and only a few have been pushed out to a lot of people. Like the one about Mr. T’s famous pencil grip. And the third in a series about taking dictation from kids. One I posted today seems to be getting shared, about how the youth mental health crisis isn’t about phone use–it’s about diminishing youth autonomy, the subject of my book.
Instagram reels is using the TikTok model to share reels with non-followers, unlike posts and stories, which only get shared with followers. A video I made about how my kids learned to write without formal writing programs–set to Taylor Swift’s “Mastermind”–was only shared with 157 people on TikTok. Then I reposted it on Instagram and it’s been viewed almost 10,000 times!!! But I got just twelve new followers from it. lol. I don’t get how this stuff works.
But I’m trying.
If you’re on TikTok, please come find me!
parents, caregivers & educators chat
What’s one of your favorite tips for keeping kids self-occupied? Leave a comment below or send me an email and I’ll share a few responses in my next post.
- The New York Magazine piece by Malcolm Harris on how we should be looking at loss of youth autonomy as a major factor in the youth mental health crisis is a read after my own heart. Finally, the media isn’t just blaming phones! It’s the article I’m discussing in today’s video, linked above.
writers & book lovers unite
- Leigh Stein’s TikTok for Writers class was excellent. She co-teaches it with a Gen Zer, and I learned a ton about how many books are getting sold via BookTok–even if you aren’t creating your own content there. Leigh is offering the class again in a few weeks!
- I’m enjoying Hua Hsu’s memoir Stay True, his story of life with a college friend who died young. The ’90s setting at UC Berkeley–practically my backyard–makes it especially appealing. It was a time of zines and record stores, the analog of my last post!) Hsu has worked as a music writer; the music references add a lot.
misc. good stuff
- I have to be careful with TikTok–it can be a very tempting platform if you like learning. Once you train the algorithm to know what you like, it shows you irresistible stuff! I’m currently working on my dance skills and I really want to make these butterscotch cookies. (Can be made plant-based!)
If you know someone who might appreciate this post, please consider sharing. ❤️