I know every month since this all started has felt like a roller coaster going through a dark tunnel, but these last two months, whew. In December, I was excited about my 40th birthday, I was going to LA, I was planning a whole year of weekly zines for 2022.
In January, I was stuck at home, alone again, I cancelled all my projects, and it snowed a lot. I knew I would be taking a break from the farmers market this year, but I was ready to give up on everything.
So I didn’t get to LA, but Megan and I resumed our virtual co-working hours, and those talks pulled me back from the edge. We talked a lot about video. You might remember that I did a live stream in November—my very first!—talking about zines. One of the ideas that came from that event was making a zine, live on stream, and letting you all watch my process from beginning to end.
In January, I very quietly started doing just that. Over on Twitch, you can watch my last two streams, and on YouTube, you can watch edited versions of the first two. This was an experiment of an experiment: how do I feel about making video, how do I feel about doing live video!
I’ve been thinking about the former forever. Teaching in person is what I do for a living, so finding a way to move toward independent teaching on topics I love has long been my goal. The thing that stopped me from making video for so long was the editing. (Confirmed: I still hate editing! Can’t wait to pay someone to do it for me.)
Live streaming is fascinating. It feels, at once, terrifyingly public and quietly intimate. I’ve been promoting the streams on Twitter, but my live viewer count is still tiny. And then it shoots up once I’m done. Who is watching these?!
My last stream, I made a zine called What I’ve Learned In My First Month Of Streaming. (You can download all the January zines on itch.io.) Streaming is a lot. I imagine I’ll get used to it, but I’ve already revised my weekly plan to a bi-weekly plan. Every other week, on Sundays. This week, I’m taking a break; the next Sunday Zine is February 13. (Hmm, maybe I’ll make a Valentine’s Day zine about being single.) If you have a Twitch profile, you can follow me and get an email notification when I go live. (Usually around 9am Pacific.)
But now I’m getting back to the regular routine of life. The weekly letter. The book edits. The dishes, oh yes, the dishes. I can never seem to reach the bottom of my sink. (If you’re also a hand-washer, please tell me your secrets for my most loathesome chore.)
Welcome to 2022. We’re still here, and we’re going to keep trying.
PS. I’ve been stuck in the doomscroll too long, so my one resolution is to come back to Instagram, where the vibe feels shinier than Twitter. I was really enjoying it in 2020, but then in 2021, something had to give, and IG was it. If I’m not following you, please let me know! I want to see what you’re up to. (You can find me @jessmakeszines.)