Thursday Writing Thoughts: Stop looking for maps and start walking…

Chuck Wendig Quote - Burn the Map

There exists no one way toward becoming a professional writer.  You cannot perfectly walk another’s journey.  …  We all chart our own course and burn the map afterward.  It’s just how it is.  If you want to find the way forward, then stop looking for maps and start walking.

— Chuck Wendig, author, screenwriter, game designer, and blogger

I went looking for a writing quote for today and discovered the awesome blog of Chuck Wendig, starting with this 2012 post called 25 Things I Want to Say to So-Called “Aspiring” Writers.  It’s filled with straightforward advice and rude but hilarious language, and every writer (heck, everyone!) should go take a moment to read the entire thing.  But I really liked his fourth point and this quote.

When I decided to make a “writing thoughts” post a weekly feature, I knew I wasn’t going to just blather on about how I think other people should write.  I’m certainly not an expert on writing — in fact, I can’t even seem to keep my own writing on track most of the time! — so what I really wanted to do was to craft a post each week to highlight advice and thoughts mined from the interwebs.  I find it helpful to read inspirational and aspirational thoughts penned by successful writers, even though I know it really comes down to what Chuck is saying in this quote.

There’s no one style of writing that works for everyone, and that’s perfectly all right.  But it’s important to try to find your style, and not just try something someone else recommends (like writing every day, for instance) and then, if that doesn’t work for you, give it all up as a lost cause.

I keep telling myself I’m “too busy” to write right now, and in fact, that was going to be this week’s topic (and it’s now next week’s, so stay tuned).

But then I realized that, actually, I make time to write almost every single day!  Not only write, but research and write this very blog — since I often try to find a dragon picture that’s relevant to the day’s events, and that isn’t usually a quick Google.  Even my shorter posts take a little while out of my day to craft, write, edit, and post.  I’ve found my way, at least my way at the moment.

I made a commitment to blog every single day, and I plan to see this through for the entire year of 2016, whether that helps my fiction writing or not.  And then after that, I’ll have to figure out my next steps forward.  I’ve taken my first bold steps, and there’s no turning back now.  Oh, I’ll continue with my weekly writing thoughts posts, of course — but I’m also going to keep Chuck’s musings well in mind.

There exists no one way toward becoming a professional writer.

I wish everyone reading who is a writer themselves, or is even thinking of beginning their writer’s journey, the best of luck as they walk their own path.  Chart your own course, and then burn that map behind you!  It’s totally worth it!  🙂

Chuck Wendig is a very prolific author whose works include a short story compilation called Irregular Creatures; the novel series Double Dead and Double Dead: Bad Blood, Spirit of the Century Presents Dinocalypse Now, Beyond Dinocalypse, and Dinocalypse Forever, the Miriam Black series Blackbirds, Mockingbird, and The Cormorant, and The Heartland Series Under the Empyrean Sky, Blightborn, and The Harvest, just to name a few; and he’s even written a bunch of books on writing, like 500 Ways to Be a Better Writer, 500 Ways to Tell a Better StoryThe Kick Ass Writer, and more.  Check out his blog for more details — I’m certainly following him now!

And finally, today’s artwork is called Map Dragon Compass by U.K. deviantartist le-Chin, created as “an idea for [a] Helm Systems LLC world map.”  I absolutely love it and couldn’t stand saving it for a future Neeka chapter, even though it’s in that kind of art style.  So check out the rest of le-Chin’s gallery for more great art!


Thanks for reading, take care and stay creative!

Image credits:
Chuck Wendig quote from his blog,, made on Quozio
Map Dragon Compass by le-Chin

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