Your Zine Is Awesome – Stop the Negative Self-Talk

Yep, your zine is awesome.

I know, I haven’t seen it, but I know it’s awesome. It’s not finished? That’s okay! You started, and that’s amazing. You haven’t started yet? That’s okay! You have a creative idea and/or urge. That in and of itself is wonderful.

Sticky Institute

I’ve said it plenty of times, and I’ll say it again: One of the beautiful things about zines is that they come in so many shapes and sizes, topics and types of materials, colours and cuts. The diversity is amazing, and I continue to be impressed by all the amazing things people think of and create.

Because of this, I feel sad when a creator calls their work ‘shit’ or says their zine isn’t very good. Especially when it’s in comparison to another zine.


Comparison in the zine world (and plenty of other things) is comparison that doesn’t need to happen – and definitely shouldn’t happen if you’re using it to be negative about what you create. Half-fold is no better or worse than a one-page mini. Stapling is no better or worse than sewing.

The only thing a zine needs to be true to is itself. Beer and Longing is gorgeous with its Japanese binding because it tied into the overall Japanese aesthetic and theme.

But that sort of binding, as beautiful as it is, would have been a bit strange on Instructions for surviving the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: In rhyming couplets because the beauty of that zine lies in its utterly appropriate simplicity.

And if absolutely nothing in your zine relates to the next bit because that’s the way you like it, that’s great, too.


I’m not here to be all fluffy lala about this. I struggle a lot with the concept that neither art nor human can be universally loved.

But I am here to tell you that whether someone likes your zine or not is a matter of opinion, not a matter of fact. Opinion is fluid and flexible – and heavily influenced by the world around us.


What I’m trying to say here is, in part, selfish. I have this strange affection for looking at the creations other people come up with. I want to know what people bring into the world when given the space and freedom to do so.

The last thing I ever want to see, hear, or read is anyone being negative about their own work, because negativity stops creativity. I don’t ever want to hear people talking about what they ‘should’ do with their work rather than what they want to do.

So Many Zines

Sure, who am I to say ‘I don’t want to see this’? No one other than a person who wants to see you create whatever you want to create regardless of what anyone else is creating.

Pursue your bliss.

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