We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

how do you decide what to write about in your zine/how do you get inspiration for your zine...

and so on and so forth...

how long does it usually take to put an issue together? i know this is going to vary massively so thats my point, to get lots of different answers :P

how do you put your zine out there with confidence and not just thinking *oh my god, what the hell am i doing? who the heck is going to want to read this* (because thats pretty much what i keep thinking whenever i think of doing a zine, especially when i see so many amazing awesome inspiring zines, i just think *what the heck do you think youre doing? putting a zine out there like yours when its nothing compared to those people, you fool* )

as you can see im a bit harsh on myself.

i remember a long time ago in about 2001 when my brother used to be into zines too (hes not really nowadays) and i cant exactly remember the exact words but what he said was something like this .........

"the stuff you write is just crappy space fillers" or words to that effect

etc etc.

so needless to say, ive always had that voice in my head saying *crappy spacefillers* closely followed by *whos going to want to read your rubbish* etc etc

i know this is bit of a moany negative post and i apologize about that, i didnt plan for it to be.
im just curious about how people are confident in their writing etc. but from the awesome zines that ive got in my collection i can definately see why theyre confident etc, because they rule and their zines rule!! hehe :P lol

ive been meaning to start doing a zine again for a few months now, as you can see from my post about it.......


if i could just get over my massive lack of self confidence etc
i just need to work out how so many people can do something that im finding so difficult.

im going to go now. thanks to anyone who reads this :) all one of you ;)

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The first zine that I shared publicly was written in just a day -- I was a sophomore in high school and was sick at home. I used a borrowed type writer to type everything up and spent the rest of the day sitting on the couch gluing everything together. That was probably the quickest I have ever made a zine in my entire life. I remember it only had one or two longer pieces & then there were a lot of lists & little paragraphs about things I liked -- looking back on it, it doesn't seem like something that had a whole lot of substance. For awhile after that, I put out two zines a year. I usually did one in the winter and one in the summer. When I went to college, I went from making two zines a year to one every two years.

For me, whatever is going on in my life is a big determining factor in how long it takes me to get a zine together. I write a personal zine that's usually put together in short story format -- so I might chronicle a summer's worth of events or a year's worth of events -- the longer the timespan, the longer it takes me to get everything together. Laying things out is usually the hardest part for me. For a long time I did elaborate cut and paste layouts, but my hands/wrists aren't in very good shape, so it's hard for me to do detail-oriented work like that sometimes. As a result, my zines have gotten a lot plainer in the looks department (though on the flipside, I think my writing has gotten much better!)

I've been making zines for awhile now, and I still don't put them out there with total confidence. But, I think if you read a lot of zines & communicate with a lot of zinesters, you already know that there's no set of predetermined criteria for the perfect zine. When I started putting out zines, I posted about them on LiveJournal communities & the now defunct Pander Distro messageboard. I also sent copies out to other zinesters whose zines I liked with a note saying, "Hey, I really love your zine & thought I would share a copy of mine with you." Taking the first step of getting your zine out there will help with some of the confidence stuff -- even though I'm still not 100% confident in making zines, I know that every time I trade with someone, get picked up by a distro, get a letter in the mail, etc., I feel a little more sure of myself & the best way to start having those interactions is beginning to pt your zine out there!
i like to just ramble on about things that are ordinary to me.. people i come across in my day, dreams, thoughts on a news article.. mostly because that's what i like to read from other people.. i like that the stuff that seems so ordinary.. i like to think i'm reading someones journal.. when someone writes as if they aren't writing for an audience, it usually ends up piquing my interest.. i'd much rather know what a person dreams about, what their fears are, their OCD's and such.. it's unabashedly honest and that's what i like.. so that's how i try to be..
and i gather inspiration from everything around me.. i take notice of all the little things other people may overlook..
I usually write whatever comes to mind....sometimes it is poetry...sometimes it may be a short story... sometimes it is just random thoughts about things that have occurred during my day. I find that I have difficulty sticking to a theme or set topic for each zine. I also like to think of topics that are more off beat ... I find it keeps my readers coming back for more.

On a side note, don't let what others think disued you from making a zine. I say go for it! Jump in! Maybe you could start by writing about issues of self-esteem????


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