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my zine isn't really a perzine, but there is a lot of personnal stuff in it. sometimes too personnal. I wrote a zine about how I felt intoo punk and zines, and perhaps why. I wrote it, but after reading, it seems way too personnal, like a journal or a biography.

do you sometimes prefer to not print something you feel too personnal ?

Tags: perzines

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I guess I think of perzines more from a reader's perspective than from a writer's perspective. I have read perzines before where I felt as if I were reading someone's diary, and I wondered why they were putting such info out into the world. However, when the writing is good, I don't care how personal the info is. I'll read anything if it's well-written. So usually when I think something is "too personal" and should have stayed in the writer's journal, I think my critique is really that the writing is not so good, not very polished. In a lot of zines I've read (especially perzines), it seems as if the writer just flopped her/his/hir first draft on the page without bothering to revise and improve.

Time and distance seems to help me feel more comfortable printing something that is very personal. Some things that I could not imagine publishing when I was in the thick of them, years later just seem like a funny story.
I felt the same about the diary-like zine, but sometime it's interesting too, but only if it's really well-writen.

Chantel G. said:
I guess I think of perzines more from a reader's perspective than from a writer's perspective. I have read perzines before where I felt as if I were reading someone's diary, and I wondered why they were putting such info out into the world. However, when the writing is good, I don't care how personal the info is. I'll read anything if it's well-written. So usually when I think something is "too personal" and should have stayed in the writer's journal, I think my critique is really that the writing is not so good, not very polished. In a lot of zines I've read (especially perzines), it seems as if the writer just flopped her/his/hir first draft on the page without bothering to revise and improve.

Time and distance seems to help me feel more comfortable printing something that is very personal. Some things that I could not imagine publishing when I was in the thick of them, years later just seem like a funny story.
i'm actually trying to be 'more' personal in my zines.. mostly because i know what i like to read from others, and i LOVE the diary type entries.. i love that unabashedly expressing of oneself.. i like feeling that i'm a fly on the wall of a day in their life.. so, if i like others to open themselves up, i should do so myself..

and amber.. you're right.. life really is awesome, and we all need to be reminded of that.. thanks!
yes, definitely. it's satisfying enough to get something out on paper, even if it's not shareable. i used to feel obliged to share everything i wrote, but since giving that up, i've felt much better about the things i've written, and more able to decide on what's 'fit enough' to send out.
I prefer perzines that don't edit anything out. I don't mean "don't edit" because all good writing takes drafts. But if something is super-personal, its even better to me. Its not filler, its not junk, and it doesn't feel like it was written just to get the zine finished. Zines are personal, even if they aren't perzines, because if the topic wasn't of some personal interest to the writer, they wouldn't have chosen the topic. The more open and real a perzine is, the more genuine the zine feels. How well the zine is written is a completely different matter.

As for myself, I write personal in my perzines. Its releasing, and it makes more of a connection between the writer and the reader. And to me, that's what perzines, and really any zines, are about - forming connections.
I agree. I read a zine recently that was 95% photocopies of someone's personal journal, and to be honest it wasn't all that interesting a read. I imagine the topics themselves would have been if they had been edited more/better written, but pages of unedited diary entries in huge handwriting left me wishing I'd spent that £1.50 on a different zine!

Amber / Culture Slut said:
sandy said:
yes, definitely. it's satisfying enough to get something out on paper, even if it's not shareable. i used to feel obliged to share everything i wrote, but since giving that up, i've felt much better about the things i've written, and more able to decide on what's 'fit enough' to send out.

Good call. It can be tempting to print things straight out of your journal, but zines need more editing and processing than that. While it may be important to write down certain things for yourself, every little detail is likely not going to be very interesting for readers. I love personal zines, and I've made many, but I don't like photocopies/unedited text directly out of a person's journal. It makes a zine feel like it's made up of a lot of filler.
I crave others' experiences. Maybe I'm just nosy, but there's a thrill I get from reading very personal details/stories about someone else's life...like I'm doing something taboo because society likes to draw a line of what we can and can't share with the world.
I made the decision yesterday not to share my second zine because one piece was too personal. It was after I had done the general announcements on the trade groups on the site, and posted pictures. But I thought about it and realized that if anyone who knew me read it I would be mortified. So I went back and took my posts down.

I'm glad I made that decision.

I printed my first zine in 6+ years this week and it is very, VERY personal! It's a memoir type zine, recounting falling in love with my boyfriend, his cancer diagnosis and how I have dealt with it.

 

I have had some cold feet about printing it because there is one vignette that is essentially a sex scene. There's a lot of personal information about my boyfriend as well. I was adamant with myself about making him read it and give me the OK before printing it and sending it out there because even though it's from my perspective, it's not just about me. Luckily he gave me the go-ahead and even wanted to send parts of it to his friends because he liked it so much. I really love and respect him for that because not a lot of people would be okay with such intimate details of their life being put out there.

 

My dad keeps asking to read my zine, but I told him there's no way he's getting it from me. At least not while I'm 23. I am a little wary of the fact that he might seek it out and then get all freaked out about the sex scene or other sexual bits, but what can ya do? 

 

I can totally relate to this - my first zine ever was so unbelievably personal that I just gave it out to 5 friends in the end, that was it! Even the illustrations all resembled me in one way or the other. I made the zine when I started to reflect on a lot of my behaviour so it makes sense that I wrote just about what I experienced or how i felt.
But I don't think that a zine is automatically "good" if it's very personal and speaks from the heart. Sometimes it can come across as very self-absorbed, especially if your personal development is the only focus of a zinesters writings or drawings. When I read through my first two zines know I am actually really relieved that I didn't give it out to more people.

I think you can write from personal experience and still...take your readers and "the outside world" into account. That is my personal goal now when I make a zine or a comic.

But of course I still have the tendency to be too personal sometimes. It's very cool that so many people talk about this gut feeling of not being comfortable with giving it away in the end. All it comes down to is how you feel about your zine in the end...if you feel like not sharing it with anyone, maybe it'll turn out to be the best decision in the long turn.

My zines are incredibly personal, but that's intentional.  The things that I/my community deem "personal" are things that I think actually should be shared, or... I'd like to live in a world where I could share them.  I think there's lots of inhibitions of sharing our true selves, and I hate that. 

So my zines are personal because my zines are my journey toward being the person I want to be... sort of...?

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