We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

Why do we do it? What Makes a Zine Maker?

This is a good time to share with you this post I did in 2009 on my blog.

I am currently working on a zine right now, as most of you are, and this is something I wrote in the midlst of a zine making marathon:

what makes a zinester

I am tired and need to wind down for tonight, but I wanted to post this while it was fresh in my head.

Driving to Kinkos tonight at 11:30 pm I thought what is it with me that makes me use my precious vacation time to stay home and make a zine? What is it that makes me stay in my house for 48 hours and work by myself on some folded pieces of paper?

I don't know of too many other things that I work this hard and this seriously on. And these are just little booklets that only hundreds of people see. This one, perhaps even less.

Why do I do it? I guess you could say ego, but I don't buy that. If it was ego why wouldn't I spend time on my looks or status or something that most people value.

Do I do it to fit in? The answer to that is no, as most of my zines do not fit the usual zinester tastes and have never really been a part of the larger zinester scene, so to speak.

I definately am motivated by a deadline. Seeing everyone this weekend and not having something to give them makes the zine symposium less fun, but most of these people I see once a year. I could easily still chat and read their zines and not much would be that different.

It is some other thing. Some strange drive I share with only a small group of people, but they do get it. They also forgo social activites, sleep and spend money to get their zine out. And when we hand each other our zines we recognize it in each other and respect it.

I have handed my zines to good friends who fold them up and put them in their back pocket or who never really read it, even though as a friend you would think they would be more interested than a stranger.

But, they just don't value it. Even when they know how much you do, they just don't. They can't.

That is why the zine symposium is so important and great. Being in such a large room with all these people who understand and value something that most of the people you know don't is amazing.

So, back to the question. Why do I do it? I think many zinesters answer to this would be different. For me it is about the zine as a finished product.

I just get so excited about getting the story, the writing, the images and the presentation all how I want it. I just can't let it go. It is not just my writing I want to get it out there. It is more a need to place it all together in the way I want. To create something that speaks to someone for a moment, that conveys a story or inspires them. And not just with words, with the whole thing. It is kind of like marketing for me. I get a little obsessed with graphic design and website like this, too.

I am still not happy with how the new zine turned out. I found little flaws, but at some point I have to let it go. I can fix them if I print it again.

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