I love starting things. I am a chronic beginner. Mostly this is restricted to my reading materials - I'd say at least 50% of the books on my shelf are half finished, or just started, or even almost entirely read but for some reason discarded a few chapters from the end. Zines are pretty great because the time it takes to read them is usually shorter than the time it takes for me to get sick of reading them or become interested in something else. It's a symptom of my generation: me and all the other 'youths' just aren't committed. I'm not exactly proud of my short attention span. I like to pass it off as being 'too interested' in a wide range of things. Many books seem like good reading to me. I'm interested in most things.
This high level of interest in stuff is what drives me to make zines (other than self-aggrandisement). The problem is that I want to make everything into a zine. Anything I find funny or interesting or stimulating in any way. Recently I decided to change my methods of production and go for quantity over quality (I'm doing this with my song-writing as well). I think this is a good idea because I will be able to turn more of my ideas into actual things and won't be plagued by the guilt of a chronic starter/finishing phobic. More stuff, made faster, with less perfectionism. That's my artistic pledge. Some people would probably argue against that. I should take time to devote myself to making something really great. The problem is that when you work like this, the pressure builds up. I wrote this zine In Sickness last year which I was pleased with. It had been building up in my brain for a long time, and I was letting it grow slowly until it was ready to come into the world. But since then I've been thinking: I have to make In Sickness II, and it has to be awesome. I sat down over the Easter long weekend to write my zine (same time I wrote it last year) and I wrote a 1000 word introduction before getting distracted by Facebook and then inviting my friends over to play with paper and glue. I still had an enjoyable and almost productive weekend, but I didn't write a zine in 3 days, which was the plan.
I came home tonight with the plan to continue writing In Sickness II, and then I went to the internet. Now I am writing this, because I love starting things. I think that it is definitely good to be an initiator, and I feel comfortable with my new aim to make a lot of the stuff I love and not worry too much about whether it's good or not, but I also think I need a bit of balance. The internet has in many ways provided for that human impulse for instant gratification - nothing is hard work any more, nothing takes time. Looking up a word in a dictionary used to at least require finding the dictionary and flipping through pages. Now I can press the dashboard button on my laptop and type it into the dictionary application. Easy. Too easy. I don't want all of my zines and all of my songs to be too easy. I like hard work as well. So I'm going to keep trying with In Sickness and use it as a good way to practice finishing. But I'll probably also make a mini zine in between about something dumb like fingernails. Or I will write long emails. Or write in this thing. It's all writing, right? At least I'm not updating my Facebook status all the time. The internet is a starter's paradise.