We Make Zines
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I LOVE River's idea of basing it on other writing. I totally want to do a Little Women zine now. Only I'm thinking maybe a duel zine, front zine tidbits from actual story, flip it over and rotate it and and a funny version like "If The March girls were alive today" That would be awesome.
I deal with the perfectionist fight a lot. A lot of people equate me to Martha Stewart (only awesome) and I feel that pressure when I work on everything. It's so bad that I've never actually finished a zine issue. I constantly think "is this going to fit that persona if I put it in the zine?" I LOVE art zines, and mini comics, but I can't draw for shit, so I did a funny section in one issue about my stupid ugly comics. Then I face the stress of "but when they see this they'll know I'm not perfect! I want them to only see the good stuff." I swear for every 100 things I make people get to see maybe 1 of them. I don't let anyone see the stuff with mistakes in it. And zine writing is a big stretch for me because of it. Honestly I'd love to see a zine that while readable (more on that in a sec) is completely imperfect. Why stress readable? I once bought a zine that when it arrived I literally couldn't read. The print was illegible and TINY. I swear it was 1500 words on a 5.5 x4" page.
Have you finished any issues of your zine? I'd love to read it!
Writing a zine is like, in my mind, writing a novel. In the first draft, you close the door because you are only writing that zine for yourself. Then you open the door because you start thinking about what other people might like. I think that's why so many zinesters are big on revision; some people don't take the second step. But definitely take the first step first and write that zine just for you.
If it's still bothering you, though, think of it this way: whether you're writing a perzine or not, I find people like to read about what they can connect with. Things that happen to all of us that we don't always talk about. For instance, I have a few problems in my life that seem so huge, but the biggest happiness of my darkest days is looking out there and seeing that I'm not the only one who has felt this way or that about those problems. And sometimes you have to write about those things to find out other people feel the same way, but that makes it all the more beautiful.
I'm rambling a bit, but I do hope some of this makes sense. In the end, don't worry about being interesting; just write what you want to write. Maybe start out with 'Confessions of a Perfectionist'...
You just have to realize that zine making is for yourself, not for other people. If you want to write about something that is, say, controversial for instance, you have to just know that all that matters is the way that you feel about it. In one of my zines I do a review of little concerts I go to by local bands, I understand that what I say may upset some people that love the bands if I say something negative, but I know that the people who read it understand that this is my point of view and they can go ahead and find out for themselves.
I understand the perfectionist+zine equation is quite difficult as I deal with it (somewhat) as well. I've found that when I get a feeling about something, if I just start writing it down, sometimes writing it as a letter to myself or the person/thing that I feel that way towards helps, I can get all of my feelings down in a care free, honest way.
I can't stress this enough so I will state this again. When you write something write it for yourself. Write it because it's the way you feel and the way you are. Don't try to make something that EVERYONE will love because it just doesn't work that way, all that matters is that you love it, and if that's the case then other people will see that and flock to it. There is nothing better than opening up a zine that's full of feeling, if that makes sense. When you turn to a page and can feel the author's rage, or depression, or overwhelming happiness, it gets you hooked. So don't worry about anyone else for right now. Just work on something you care about.
Another thing that helped me get into zine writing more fluidly was taking other people's writing and formatting the pages and stuff. I took "the haunted mind" by Nathaniel Hawthorne and re-did it in mini-zine format and send it out in a two part package. The reason why I did it is because I absolutely LOVE that story and wanted to share it with people, but mostly I wanted a copy for myself that I could read when I felt like it rather than looking it up on the internet.
These are just some ideas but other ones I have heard is starting a diary/journal and putting it into zine format just for yourself, sometimes it ends up being the best possible zine.
I hope that something I said helps you and good luck, You should message me when you get done (or before then?) with it I look forward to reading it!
Now im in no position to offer advice as to approach zine writing as im still in the process of drawing ideas on my first zine im looking to publish eventually,but i think i can try and offer some advice (take it or leave it) regarding seeing as in your thread description you haven't exactly pinpointed what aren't satisfied with in your zine, so therefore i cant't necessarily offer advice as to how and work around those supposed issues.
Anyway first off before writing a particular zine i think its very important to draw up a few ideas and aspects you want to project in your zine,as in doing will fully emulate your purpose.Think about the principles you want to try and convey to people who will stumble upon your zine and how you can demonstrate them.Personally i think as long as your doing justice to what you want in your zine reagarding your ideas and you project them to a degree that you happy with,thats all that counts really.Write for you.Its very easy to get bogged down while writing zines to persist on a path which forces you to write what YOU THINK MAY RESONATE with people instead of what you want to write about,it just simply relates back to the fact that you will not please everyone.I personally think Writing for a preconcepted audience for your zine will only make your writing flawed and not at the least genuine.
Anyway i hope the advice i've given has helped with your issue or at least provided a another insight that wasn't before phesible.Definitely contact me when the zines finished,i'd love to read it.
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