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how do you decide how personal to get in a zine?

just wondering how people decide how personal to get in their zines? what factors contribute to how personal you will/won't get. also do you show your zines to close friends/family? if there is really personal and touchy stuff in there (especially people who write about past abuse/mental health issues /sexuality) do you share this stuff with friends/family/partners?

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i don't have any limits as far as the things i write because i think people need to hear what's going on. i write about sex and health and women so if people don't hear it from me maybe they will think they're the only ones going through something. i get a lot of emails telling me about some of the stuff from issue number two. y'all know what i'm talking about. people are like wow, ok, i have that same shit going on or something similar to it, and i felt so alone and ashamed. i haven't promoted number two as much as number one though and i think when number three comes out i'm going to go real hard on both of them and send them out to a ton of folks for distro.

i don't share my zine with my mama though even though she really wants to read it. i don't think she needs to know about what i'm doing sexually and who i'm doing it with. i'm sure she'll buy it later or come across it somewhere but right now i'm ok.
all the boys want to read it. and then after i fuck them, they're like "you're gonna write about this aren't you?" and i'm like "no dude you sucked try again". and it's SO FUNNY. but yeah they always want me to write about them and are very interested in what i'm writing about. then they leave it or forget it somewhere and then their friends read it too. everyone volunteers for research too.

i think zines are supposed to be personal. spill it. people need to know that they aren't alone. if you and clementine weren't spilling your guts to me and everyone else, it would be terrible. people need to hear it.

sometimes guys have flipped out on me or thought stuff was about them and it wasn't. i bet you think this zine is about you... well it's not. lol.
hahha. some stuff i write about i don't want my boyfriend to see. we are super close and have been together forever (well 5 years) but there's still a part of me that is raw and dark, a part i don't always want to show to him. i wanna have the freedom to say it all in my zine without worrying i will have to show it to him or someone in my family and they will read my deepest thoughts. its weird because i feel way more comfortable sharing this stuff with strangers. guess it's because i don't really know who i send my zines to and will probably never meet most of them. it makes me kind of anonymous which gives me more freedom to say how i really feel.
maybe he doesn't have to know every single thing about you or read every single thing you write. part of you gets to remain a mystery. that's ok.

KellyRose-Pulse Zine said:
hahha. some stuff i write about i don't want my boyfriend to see. we are super close and have been together forever (well 5 years) but there's still a part of me that is raw and dark, a part i don't always want to show to him. i wanna have the freedom to say it all in my zine without worrying i will have to show it to him or someone in my family and they will read my deepest thoughts. its weird because i feel way more comfortable sharing this stuff with strangers. guess it's because i don't really know who i send my zines to and will probably never meet most of them. it makes me kind of anonymous which gives me more freedom to say how i really feel.
I use third person narratives in most of my zines, using 'He' and 'She' instead of real names so my subjects remains annoymous. The Dragnet way of storytelling, the names are changed to protect the innocent.
Although, this does not go over well with ex girlfriends. I am apparently a terrible writer and a selfish person for doing so.

I know you are asking about how in depth you get, but thought I'd share this with you anyway.
It's still pretty personal.


john
my next issue is definitely naming names. and there is one email address in there too so everyone can write this person and let him know how i feel about EVERYTHING. maybe i'll keep it in there, maybe i won't. i'm not sure yet. but my heart hurts and i want everyone to know that marcus did it.

i like when other writers have names in their zines so i can keep track of who's who and then later in future issues i'm like "oh so that's what happened to that guy..." and i feel more connected to the whole story. it's totally fine to do this because nobody is really going to sue you or get pissed if you're talking shit about them because your own name is not in there. and zines are really small publications and i don't use last names.

the key to getting people to want to be in your zine is to let them read stuff you wrote about other people that isn't angry. and then they say "how come you don't write about me?". everyone wants you to write about how awesome they are. make them prove that shit.
I write about everything and I make my mum buy copies of all my zines. If my sister is interested she can read too, and I give my dad copies of my perzine, but not my zine about sex and stuff. I talk about friends and relationships and things, but I don't use names. I usually use a first initial, but in my relationship/sex zine I try not to even do that cos I don't always want everyone to know who I've been hooking up with, haha.
My zines are pretty personal. People who read them in the real world are probably my nearest and dearest. But I write about the things I feel most strongly about and it's always a challange to see how far I can push myself to get the realest, rawest shit I think about on paper.
As far as writing about other people, I generally don't use names, or use them judiciously depending on the situation - first name only. Trust and respect are HUGE for me and I just could never be one of those writers who is confided in and then runs off and publishes said conversations or situations - unless there is a way to do it that conceals the private information. Otherwise, with info about me...I guess it depends on my mood. Sometimes I will be more conservative with my thoughts and other times I will put my thoughts out there, freaking out that I can't take them back. I suppose it's a control thing.

I agree though that there has to be a way to write honestly about personal experience so that other people know they are not the only ones who think a certain way, or so that other people can be jolted out of their limited frame of reference.

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