a place for zinesters - writers and readers
Old thread but will give my input.
I started reading zines back in 2001-ish though not sure how I first heard about them. Ordered from some local distros (which sadly are no longer around) and loved the feeling of opening my mailbox to see the zines I ordered.
I decided to make my first zine in late 2002 after deciding, hey I can do one too. It was pretty rushed (I wanted to make it in time for a concert I was attending) but I was super proud of it at the time.
I didn't do any more zines til 2005/2006 where I offered to put together some zines for a regular youth event run by the town's youth group. Those had a few other contributors so I was more the editor of it. Still copies around and had a few people tell me they enjoyed them.
As for question B I had those feelings but I think it helped that I also thought that most people in my small town (that I lived in back then, Auckland has quite an active zine scene) would have no previous encounters with zines. I tried to be encouraging to myself that if the first one sucked at least I could improve on it in the second issue (which is coming, almost 8 years later)
A) I am tired of facebook as my only means of communication and expression of thoughts and feelings, a zine feels more spontaneous and it feels great that even though i cant put privacy settings on it I CHOOSE what kind of info goes out and how.
B)my original issue 1 never even saw the light of day in 2008 but now it's a perzine so since i dont have to rely on people i can take as long as i want and sell it for however much i want and not care about people i collaborate with think about what I wrote
I dont think I could work with anyone at the moment not because of diva ways or selfishness but because I am too insecure, one thing is for a stranger to send me a letter about how they liked or hated my zine another is to argue with someone when the launch date is closing in and nothings been done yet. <experience
Its something I have had on my mind to do since around the year of '98/'99 when I worked on a pen-pal "newsletter" with my aunt. Now that I'm "all grown up" the idea keeps resurfacing in my mind.
Until very recently I've never seen/held an actual zine in my hands, so I have nothing to base my own work off of, except internet articles about zines. But for roughly 12 years the idea of it hasn't left me alone.
Right now I'm working on 2 different ideas for a first zine. I'll probably do a mini-zine trial run, and "OMG. This won't be any good. WTF am I doing?" pretty much perfectly sums up how I feel about it, which is why I've not finished it YET.
I have some experience, but definitely not as much as some of the folks here. I've never actually had a more widespread paper zine, because when I put together a paper zine as a teen I didn't get to send it abroad and most people in my area didn't care about feminism and punk. Now that I'm older it's easier.
A) I got into the whole riot grrrl thing when I was younger. For several reasons I'm not into it as much anymore, but those years made me learn many valuable things and I've always been fascinated by zines. I also helped run a webzine for a while but it was a very ambitious project and we were lacking collaborators so it never quite took off.
B) I think my first zine ever was completely crap. It was a great way to understand how printing works, how to print things to fold them into a A5 format, how to figure out costs, etc. I'm not saying that your first zine ever will be crap at all, just that even if it is (worst case scenario) it's still going to be an awesome way to practice. :)
it's something that crossed my mind a few times over the years, but i didn't act on it until i read Stolen Sharpie Revolution. now it seems i can't stop zining! i don't even have a wide readership but i'm already working on a third issue. the writing process has been really personal & therapeutic for me. with my first issue i just gathered some old writings i had lying around & made the layout within a day. it's having my work viewed by other people that makes me anxious, but i'm a little proud of my work too.