Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shifting gears

There are a lot of things I've been thinking about. And writing about.

But not here.

I've kind of neglected this blog recently. Sure, I've updated from time to time, but mostly just to say that I'm still alive and (miraculously!) haven't burned down the kitchen in my attempts to keep myself fed.

This is a far cry from what I was doing with this blog a year ago, at which point I was an active participant in feminist blog carnivals (This is What a Young Feminist Looks Like, NARAL's Blog for Choice Day, and I Stand with Planned Parenthood, among others). I also wrote posts reflecting on books I read, and shared my thoughts on things like education, young adult literature (because I will not-so-secretly always love it-- no matter how old I get), and general 20-something-type stuff: feelings of inadequacy, uncertainty, etc, etc.

But I think it's important to put those posts against the backdrop of where I was at in life last year. At the time, I'd just transferred colleges, moved in with my parents, and was--even though I was hesitant to admit it then--incredibly lonely. My self-indulgent blogging habit (as I came to call it) helped me not only to organize my thoughts and figure out what the hell I was doing, but also kept me connected to people who shared my interests.

And some of those online connections turned out to be far more profound & long-lasting than I would have ever expected. This year, I've had the chance to meet and work with feminists from across the country, and have gotten involved in a couple of projects that I'm really excited about.

(And yes, I've also made some friends at my new school. I couldn't be more glad about that.)

Anyway, I've thinking of making a zine. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I got the idea from my friend Lucy, who, in the editor's note of her inaugural issue, explained her reason for replacing her blog with a zine: "Every time I try to do a blog it ends up feeling like I'm pulling teeth to say what I want and make it politically correct for any future employment. This zine is created on my terms and with my own words."

I have been very busy and active-- infinitely more so than I was a year ago. As I mentioned, I'm incredibly excited about the stuff I've been doing, and have a lot to say about it. But here just isn't the place to share my thoughts on those things.

So I've been looking for a more appropriate venue for sharing my thoughts with a few friends and fellow activists. And just as I was pondering that, a copy of Lucy's new zine arrived in the mail.

I've spent the past couple of weeks reading up on zine-making. Lucy's also given me a few tips. She and I are both former editors-- she of the student newspaper at NMU, and I of two art/literary magazines (Looking Glass in high school and Cardinal Sins at SVSU). And yet this is an endeavor very much unlike either of those publications. I have some graphic design know-how, but don't really intend to use it. Lucy's zine was a mix of things: typed stuff that she photocopied, pages of handwritten material, and a few images. She took pages of 8.5 x 11" computer paper, folded them in half, and stapled the pages together. I will likely do something similar. I like that what she made looks very much like a scrapbook. That, I think, is well-suited to what I hope to accomplish by doing this: something tangible to show for what I've been up to lately-- a more interesting way of communicating with people than Facebook messaging. Maybe it'll eventually evolve into something a little bigger than that, but who knows; it's all a big experiment for me right now.

I'll still update this page from time to time; unlike Lucy, I have no plans to delete my blog anytime soon. When I joined Google+, for example, I didn't leave Facebook. I just post whatever's most appropriate for the audiences on those respective sites. Same thing with this. Assuming my zine actually materializes, it'll certainly have a much more limited audience than my blog does. Therefore, it'll contain different information.

Anyway, that's all for now. See ya around, Internet.

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