a place for zinesters - writers and readers
This might seem like a weird question, and I apologize if it has already been discussed, but I DID search it as best I knew how.
I was wondering, if when you're creating your content, you ever just...wonder why you're doing it at all--'Why should anyone even care what I have to say, or what my experiences are?"
I can't think of any better way to phrase the question, but do you know what I mean? Have you ever thought this way, and has it stopped you, or changed what you do at all? How do you respond to those discouraging voices?
Ahaha, yes. Every single time I make a zine. Sometimes it throws me so bad that I can't even get started. The last issue that I did, I actually had a full on meltdown. I was like, why do I even care this much? What is the POINT?! And it got really existential-crisis'ey. I usually get over it though, plough through the doubts, get it made, photocopied and distributed and then soon after start the cycle again.
The one main thing I use to try and conquer those doubts is by thinking of the zines that I read and love so much. I can't explain why they mean the world to me but they do - and I just hope that maybe one person out there will love my zine in the same way that I love others. It might not happen, but it could. And that hope keeps me going I guess. I'm an introvert so don't talk much to people and I think it's my outlet. I don't keep journals these days so I think it's the main my stories try and get themselves told.
The final thing that helps is that I've seen a massive improvement in my zines since I"ve started doing them. I figure that if I've improved this much, so far, then hopefully in a few more years I'll be even better. Besides, there's nothing really else I'd prefer to be doing with my time :D The urge to cut and type and paste and staple is just too great!
It's a big relief to know I'm not the only one. I find it kills my momentum a lot, in the middle of working really hard on something. Suddenly I feel like a balloon being quickly deflated XD It's the same for me though--the reasoning behind continuing. I think about all the times I've read something in a zine and suddenly felt so much less alone, or so much more secure in my convictions about something. I also enjoy zine-making way too much, and find it to be a way too positive outlet to give up. I'm having that problem a lot recently because I've just started making zines again after a year and a half long break, and with my last zine I had no way of really telling how many people actually read them and enjoyed them. I have this one piece, especially, which is some text that I wrote a year ago in a word document, and I worry that it sounds to whiny, but at the same time I think the feelings that I was having back then were really important, and probably really normal. I still feel like it makes me sound childish, though XD
thankfully i've been doing my zine for a few years and i have had some very nice encouragement. so when i think "this is some fucked up ego thing, no one cares that i had these thoughts" or something like that, i can then remember letters or conversations i've had with people about the things i wrote and how they apply to their lives and things like that.
i do sometimes have a hard time figuring out how much is too much, when it's getting real personal and detailed or involves other people or whatever, and i have the same kinds of thoughts about that. a lot of times i will just ask friends what they think! usually i get the advice to not hold anything back and it's great because that's what i want to be advised to do. haha.
Yup! I'm going through that right now, trying to finish a zine that I've been working on for a while, but I've also had it with other zines/blogs/articles I've written. Having other people read things and give their opinion really helps. Knowing you're (I'm) not the only one who goes through this helps (me) a lot too.
But sometimes the only thing that keeps me writing is telling myself "You said you were going to write this zine, now finish it. You can always decide not to publish it later", which takes away the pressure of having an 'audience'.
You have to feel the drive to express. If other people get something out of it, even better. But YOU are the one who will write your own lifestory best. just put it out there!
Yes, I have definitely thought that about my zines/ what I had to say!!! I guess that is why it took me five years to make a new zine!!
I think this every time.
But, think about some of your favorite zines. Many of them may just be people's personal thoughts and they most likely thought the same thing you are. But, you got something out of their zine, right? it meant something to you. Maybe that might help.
Thanks a lot, you guys. Every one of your replies was helpful and encouraging, and you all make great points. I think I might have already kind of knew some of the things you guys pointed out--I just needed someone else to say it to me before I could really trust it. And it makes me feel a lot better that so many other people feel the same way. I think we probably all feel that way about more than just our zines, but we picture other people being like "No, are you kidding? I am a genius, and all of my thoughts are complete gems!", when actually that's not the case XD Some of the best zines I've read have just been someone's humble feelings, thoughts, and experiences ^.^
Yeah, this kind of thinking has been holding me back since I was a teenager. For real. Back then I just DID what was in my head. I just MADE what was in my head. I didn't sit and worry about it and it was exhilarating and I felt so connected to others because of it. Then...I don't know...the adulthood monster took over and ate that vibe. Now I wonder and worry about everything. Will people be offended? Will my ignorance piss someone off? Will my age make people treat me weird, like IRL? Will my art suck? Will I open up more than I want to, and then freak out because I'm a private person? Will a friend or relative or co-worker end up seeing it when I don't want them to? Will I get caught up in Zine politics (of the nonconstructive variety)? Will I resonate with no one (which is, to me, something I can totally live with, but it's so nice to connect with people, so it's nice not to have those hopes dashed.)? Will I realize I spelled something wrong/mis-cited something/didn't realize the context of something after I've sent out 40 copies? I mean, the list goes on.
Lately, I've found that if I get caught in that cycle, I can go back to this xkcd cartoon and it helps me get over it and just DO whatever it is I'm thinking of doing. Also, tonight I just read Real Life: A Magical Guide to Getting Off the Internet by Maranda Elizabeth and Dave Cave. I think living a more IRL life will help me get back in touch with present-moment creating and doing. And I sent out about 5 or 6 copies of my 24 hour zine this week, all the while imagining everyone who received it would just throw it aside, thinking "What a content-sparse, narcissistic, boring piece of crap." Not because I hate everything I do (I don't), but because I still don't really know what I'm trying to do with my zines and because I feel like there are all of these zine scene nuances that I don't really get.
But then I read Crapendemic's zines and they remind me of how awesome I used to be and how entertaining my letters/art were and it makes me want to get back in touch with my inner wonder bomb. Because no matter how flat I feel most days, that part of me is still there - it just hasn't had a lot of exercise in a long time. I've got some work to do, but it's totally worth it. Like Tee Rex said...the more you do, the more you get to watch yourself improve and catch your stride.
Yes. I write a perzine and I do it to release my feelings, thoughts, emotions, etc..I like to think that there are people out there who can relate. Sometimes when you're going through things, it is nice to know that other people have been there too and have felt the same way. I have had my zine reviewed and now that I look back, I kick myself in the butt for doing that. I have gotten both good and bad reviews, and when I receive a bad one I think "how can someone write negatively about my own emotions?" It's kind of silly, right? At the end of the day, I do it for myself....it makes me feel good and that's all that matters.
Good topic by the way.
i came across a quote on pinterest.com which said something to the effect of "i don't care if anyone knows, i just want to make beautiful things," which kinda sums up my feelings on why i made a zine at all. :)
I wonder if Bloggers, tweeters or facebookers think this? (probably not)
I think the key is to write interesting stuff (dramatic, humorous, emotionally intense, romantic, sexual, personal or even day in the life). And don't be afraid to edit.
As for who ends up reading your zine, the answer in my case is who ever I ended up trading zines with at a zine fest.
The target audience for perzines seems to be other perziners. I can't seem to get enough of them.