Blaze Your Own Trail

Discussion Guide

A modern, feminist take on the classic choose-your-own-journey book, inspiring readers to embrace the fact that there is no singular right path—just your own!

So many women enter their adult lives believing that they should know where they are going and how to get there. This can make life decisions feel intimidating and overwhelming. While some choices that lie ahead are fairly predictable, such as those surrounding career, partnership, and motherhood, the effects of these choices can lead to more complicated and unexpected turns that are seldom discussed.

Rather than suggesting a rule book, Rebekah Bastian inspires you to Blaze Your Own Trail. “I have the benefit of being a living example of crooked paths, magnificent screw-ups, and shocking successes,” she writes. Through storylines and supportive data that explore workplace sexism, career changes, marriage, child-rearing, existential crises, and everything in between, you will learn to embrace and feel less alone in your own nonlinear journey. Even better, you can turn back decisions and make different ones. Blaze Your Own Trail includes nineteen possible outcomes and many routes to get there. You will find that you have the strength to make it through any of them.

Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, with a foreword by Sarah Lacy.

Praise For Blaze Your Own Trail

In a world where readers suffer with clichéd and cookie-cutter works that fail to break any new ground or make us see the world in a different light, Bastian has succeeded in presenting a recognizable world in a creative fashion. The fact she accomplishes it without relying on hoary devices or predictable turns makes it even more notable. Rebekah Bastian’s Blaze Your Own Trail speaks to the female experience as I, and many others, see it, but it takes in the world as well and leaves us in turns entertained and enlightened by seeing ourselves in this wonderful book she has written. I cannot recommend this book enough and hope that she writes many more.

Clay BurtonIndependent Music and Arts, Inc.

Blaze Your Own Trail has a wealth of riches within its pages certain to appeal to a wide gamut of readers. Rebekah Bastian deserves lauded for presenting a work to us that confounds conventionality and helps see life and its variety in a new way. It will prompt reflection from men and women alike, it will speak in an unique way to the latter, and it invites you to return again and again to its pages so you might have the opportunity for exploring it from different angles. This is a singular and unusual achievement worth anyone’s time.

Garth ThomasThe Hollywood Digest

Rebekah Bastian’s Blaze Your Own Trail has the sort of jolt experienced readers are looking for. It isn’t a same old, same old text rolling through the predictable turns of fiction and non-fiction alike. It is her first book, but you can’t tell. Instead, she’s written an inspired book brimming with imagination and insight that’s difficult to forget and begs for additional reading thanks to the various approaches that you can take while reading the book.

Kim MuncieNeuFutur Magazine

Rebekah distills the defining moments of life—excitement, choices, hardships—into interactive, fun-to-read chapters that offer a glimpse into every woman’s reality. She intersperses the story with grounding statistics on themes like choosing a career, motherhood, workplace harassment, relationships . . . and the result is a book that feels reassuring, kind, and comforting for any woman who has ever had a decision to make. A wonderful and refreshing reminder that, even when everything feels out of our control, we are the creators of our story.

Amy NelsonCEO and Founder of The Riveter

Every once in a while, an author so delightful and smart breaks through with a winning idea for the world. With interactive, useful, and fun-to-read chapters like ‘Love or Marriage,’ ‘Ladder or Jungle Gym,’ or ‘Snot and Tears,’ Blaze Your Own Trail walks us through career and life choices with poignancy and power. In what is one of the most emotionally fraught topics of today’s age—gender equity in the office and home—Rebekah manages to provide a winning framework for anyone giving big life decisions full consideration. A must-read for everyone, male or female, parent or child. I loved it!

Jonathan SposatoChairman of GeekWire and author of Better Together

If you think this is some stranger’s story, think again. At every crossroads, I found myself on the path of a woman I know and love—confronting her choices, facing her struggles, and embracing her hope. We grow up thinking that the wrong twists and turns could ruin everything. But we are way too strong for that.

Mónica GuzmánCofounder of The Evergrey

The intrapersonal journey described in this book gives the reader insight into the world of choice, especially for women who are working to find or create balance in their personal and professional lives. The stories shared in this work encompass the challenge we all have as human beings in wondering ‘what if?’ in our daily lives. This book will have an impact on the perspectives we hold when evaluating our privileges and struggles. It brings to life the reality that our journeys are multidimensional, and that the dimensions are defined by our identities, decisions, and the actions of others. It is intriguing how the author speaks to readers as if they are directly experiencing the events taking place in the book, making the realities felt through the character’s thoughts relatable and powerful.

Cheryl IngramCEO and Founder of Diverse City LLC

Blaze Your Own Trail provides valuable insight into the experiences and choices that a woman makes in her life, beyond what many of us might be aware of. As a tech CEO and an investor, as well as a father and husband, I have long recognized the role I need to play in empowering women in their careers. The insight I have gained from this book has helped me feel more empathy around many of the obstacles that I wasn’t even aware of and has inspired me to be a more effective ally.

Spencer RascoffCo-founder of dot.LA, Zillow and Hotwire