How To Be Alone: The Zine

Hello, daydream believers! Sometimes you have to be alone, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not date anyone, and it’s okay to take yourself to the movies, and it’s okay to watch 7 hours of “New Girl” on Netflix alone in your room with only Milk Duds and ennui to keep you company. It’s okay. There’s a stigma against doing things by yourself, partially because self-reflection is hard and partially because no one wants to look like they don’t have any friends. But Vanessa and I think that it’s important to learn to be happy by yourself, so we made you a zine to help explain what we mean and why.


bell hooks




(Take the entire emotional maturity quiz here.)


(Listen to the playlist here!)




If you want to make your own physical copy of this zine, click through the following two images, print them each on their own 11-inch-by-17-inch piece of paper, and follow this tutorial.



Happy alone time-ing!

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Intern Grace

Grace Ellis has been writing and making hack-job graphics for Autostraddle since 2011 and is a co-creator and co-writer of the comic book series Lumberjanes. She is mostly an intern in name only. (Mostly.) She lives in Columbus, Ohio because why anything. Also, she wants to write the Black Widow movie and feels like if she just keeps telling people, eventually she will be allowed to do it. She has a Twitter and a Tumblr, both of which are pretty above average.

Grace has written 89 articles for us.


  1. This is so great, I love it! But you forgot “read Autostraddle” on the You Do You Alone graphic…

  2. I DEFINETLY need this. I am somehow always miserable when I am not with/dating a person – usually unhappily in love anyway, in that case… Otherwise I am very happy to do things alone, but this is a problem. Trying to learn, though!

  3. Thoughtful, flavorful, useful. And it’s a ‘zine, which just makes my lonely heartstrings all twangy. Thank you!

  4. Alone time is so important… I’ve actually been feeling at a bit of a loss lately because my SO and I live together, with other flatmates, which means I’m either ‘busy’ or ‘with people’. I really wish I could afford a place to live by myself (wekindadidtheuhaulthingandlikeourrelationshipisfinebutnowwespendALLthetimetogether) but even if I did I don’t want to hurt my SO’s feelings by suggesting we live separately… Advice for getting quality alone time in a house full of people and all your spaces shared with someone else?

    • Do you leave the house for work? Leave an hour early or come back an hour later. Spend that hour being alone.

  5. This is beautiful! I am feeling so inspired to spend time alone– and maybe even make my own zine!

  6. For me – having moved to study abroad in a city where I know very few people and live with strangers – this is perfect, and exactly what I needed. Thank you so much!

    Incidentally, for any language-loving Autostraddlers, is a great resource for learning European languages without requiring other people’s input/ company :)

  7. I loved this for so many reasons, of course. Most of all, I don’t feel so weird for enjoying my alone time so much now. I have friends I spend time with, but not often. Also, I’m in a relationship, but we’re long distance. So I really don’t do much with other people anymore. The thing is at this point in my life, I’m really enjoying spending time with myself and growing as an individual.

  8. Thank you for this! I sometimes feel weird that I like to be by myself so much, like I’m expected to be around people a lot otherwise there is something wrong with me. I’m glad that other people feel it’s important to be alone with yourself sometimes.

  9. Thank you. Thank you thank you.
    This could not have come at a better time. The woman I thought I would marry will be coming home from a month long trip away to tell me she’s leaving me. Once upon a time I was good at being along, and loved the freedom. Now the air had been taken from my lungs and I need to learn all over again. Thank you V and G for putting things like this out there.

  10. Grace! I really want to print this but I am so not craft and I don’t get the instructions! You’re meant to print these two pages separately, not double-sided? And then how do you stick them together? I went to the tutorial page but it didn’t answer my question…

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