With apologies to Robert Frost, today I am advocating the frequently traveled road in place of the inviting one that is grassy and wanting wear.  I am, in fact, advocating tarmac and one of those paving machines – heck, let’s bring in the entire road building crew, with the guys holding signs and the whole deal.  The process of creating habits is often likened to creating a pathway in the brain.  Obviously, this is not the sort of pathway involving bunnies and deer; neither is it something built by a paving crew.   But the neurons in our brain do form pathways – connections that  make frequent behaviors more likely to re-occur than infrequent behaviors.  If you doubt me think about the last time you were driving down the freeway on your day off, and accidentally took the exit to work. 

I think we have a tendency to link ‘habit’ to ‘bad’ but there are plenty of good habits out there.  Things like wearing your seatbelt, brushing your teeth, saying please and thank you.  And, of course, regularly challenging yourself as a  writer.  Daily writing is the holy grail – a thing most writers aim for, and some of us achieve.   Some of the rest of us, whether for totally legitimate reasons or a penchant for procrastination, consistently venture off into less traveled paths and don’t accomplish nearly as much regular writing as we could.

I’m still working on daily writing, and actually doing pretty well.  But I’d like to establish a practice of pushing myself with regular weekend writing challenges, an idea which finally leads us off of the meandering garden path I’ve been leading you down, and to the apparently elusive point. 

The last two weekends I’ve suggested a weekend writing challenge.  Several of you have taken me up on this, and a couple of others have been playing along at home.  I had so much fun, and got so much done, that I want to do it again.  And again, and again, every weekend until I get sick of it.    This weekend,  I know I need to be realistic.  I am on call all weekend, which at the worst means I’ll be frantically running around solving crises in a thoroughly sleep deprived state.  At best, I’ll be distracted and on edge, jumping like a startled cat every time the phone rings.   But I’m pretty sure I can dig up a couple of hours to write.

My goal:  2000 words on Gatekeeper.  My reward: making it to Monday with my sanity intact.  Just kidding.  I think, this weekend, it’s dark chocolate.  I’m doing this with or without you, but it’s more fun when somebody else is on board.  Anybody want to play?

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