Zines Distros & Mental Health Update?

So this morning some zines arrived from http://marchingstars.co.uk/, which is sadly closing down after seven years. It was such a joy to receive the package, especially as I was wrestling with cash flow projections when the postie arrived. Alfie became a temporary table:


Obviously, I want to sell my own zines online in the near future – but I’m starting to wonder if I could run a distro on here as well. I mean, it’s not like it would be much extra trouble and it would be a create way to connect with potential writers and collaborators.

Saying that, I’m still struggling to work out how to factor in postage and packaging costs through WooCommerce. When we did the initial five trial issues it was all distributed by hand, so online sales and formally using the royal mail is new ground for me. I know it’s not excessively complicated, but I hope I work it all out soon. It’s frustrating not having the online shop up and running and I would certainly like to get a distro functioning by the first issue launch in (provisionally) July.

The Kickstarter is now sitting at £900, which is 60% of the total goal. Unfortunately, it hasn’t moved in two days. I’m not sure what I’m doing incorrectly, because the ‘word’ is definitely getting out there – it’s just not exactly translating into pledges. Fundraising is, again, something I have no experience in. So many new things to learn. It’s exciting, but it’s also rather nerve-wracking.

If I could I’d make business classes compulsory for all art students. If I wasn’t so tired I’d explain what a zine distro is.

I’m seeing a psychiatrist in eight hours. Been on Paroxetine two days now and it seems to be better than Citalopram or Sertraline so far, but it’s really too early to tell. Apparently the withdrawal effects are worse, so hopefully the psych won’t decide I should be on another set of pills completely (though if they do I just hope the new drugs don’t cost me longer than a few days).

Some of my older relatives are concerned that I’m being too frank about my mental health, but I don’t… feel comfortable pretending I’m well when I’m not. I’m trying to set up this business because I’m unwell, because my mood fluctuates in a way that makes full-time office work almost impossible. My mental health is the catalyst. I wouldn’t be so desperate for it to succeed, and quickly, if I hadn’t lost my newspaper job due to work-related stress & depression. I need this to work, because I need to carve a livable space that branches feminist activism and journalism without compromising on either. Also, also, also (and I feel so stupid saying this) I don’t want to lose my car. If the Kickstarter is successful, if I can phase off my ESA through the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, if I can get the ecommerce up and running, if I can get the printer and the software and pull the whole thing together in time then it’s possible that I won’t default on my car repayments. Rent, food, gas & electric can all be covered in emergencies – but ever since I lost my job in February there’s been a very small window of time to get my shit together before the car defaults.

In a way this is a good thing, because it’s given me a deadline to work towards. And ultimately, if I lose the car I can still distribute the zine across the UK – it will just be harder and more stressful to get to showcases and conventions. But I really don’t want to lose the car. It’s the only symbol I have that reminds me daily that I did ‘make it’ and I was successful and, for a moment, I fulfilled my potential.

I should go to bed now. More personal and confessional posts to follow. This is an arts zine, not a fucking press release.


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