Reading, writing, arithmetic

August 31, 2008 at 5:49 pm 6 comments

Sorry, but I just can’t stand the three “Rs” concept. Why would we misspell our basic educational components? So my title is missing the alliteration, but not the premise that what we have here is a simple way to achieve a very important goal.

In fact, we are reaching for multiple goals. The first and most important is to support the critical work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). The research, education and outreach efforts of the CFF is adding years to the life expectancy of folks with CF. The bottom line is that we want a cure for this disease!

Our secondary goal is to have fun with a bit of friendly competition to see who can write the most words and read the most pages while they are busy raising money to fight CF. We want to see people reach their writing goals because we want those books written! And of course we want to encourage readers to read because well, that’s the point of writing. Hmm, I think this may be the definition of a symbiotic relationship.

A lot of people have set some huge goals–Debbie Macomber has challeged us with a 30,000 word goal and we have several participants who aim to meet or exceed that goal! I was impressed with a couple of the reading goals as well–Suzanne G. is planning to read 6,000 words–that’s 200 pages a day. She’s also plans to keep pace with Debbie Macomber on the writing front. That’s impressive.

Our goal for the event is to raise $10,000 for CFF. That is a huge amount of money.

So how do we go about achieving these tremendous goals? We take Anne Lamott’s advice and go after it Bird by Bird. If you’re a writer you’ve probably read Lamott’s wonderful book (if not, you need to read it). The title comes from an incident in her childhood. Anne’s brother had a school project on birds that he had put off to the last minute. When he didn’t know how to get it started, his father exhorted him to approach it, “bird by bird.” And that is what we must do as well.

If you haven’t already, sit down with your goals and break them into smaller goals. My writing goal, for example, is 15,000 words for the month of September. That figures to 500 words per day, if i write on all 30 days. 15,000 is a huge number, but 500 words is something I can tackle.

The same is true for our $10,000 goal. If we thought about finding $10,000 all at once we would have quit in the beginning. I’ve always thought it would be possible to find 200 people who could each raise $50. That would mean those 200 people would each have to find 10 friends to give $5 or 5 friends to give $10 each. We can certainly do that!

At this point we don’t have our 200 people, but we will get them before this event is over. Please do your part by getting the word out! Tell all your reading and writing friends about this event. Link to us from your blog or website, tell the other parents about it when you are all dropping off and picking up kids at school, mention it to your local librarian!

As a special bonus to kick-start the event we are going to be giving away a signed book to every participant who raises $100 by September 7. So get started on your goals this week–aim for that $100. If you reach $100 the first week and $50 each week after that you will have raised $250. That is an attainable goal and it will go a long way to supporting CFF!


Entry filed under: Announcement, How you can help, Information. Tags: , , , , , .

Goals, donations and fighting cystic fibrosis Ready, set . . . .GO!


  • 1. laurakramarsky  |  August 31, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Most of the folks I expect to participate with me are away at the moment, but I put up a team that I hope some of our blog’s regular readers (and writers) will join at . My own goal is 25k words written.

  • 2. tbodwell  |  August 31, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Laura–

    Welcome aboard! God luck on your goal. If you hit 30k you’ll be keeping pace with Debbie!!

  • 3. Kathy  |  September 1, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Hey does working on college homework count as writing? I have written 450 words so far lol.

  • 4. tbodwell  |  September 1, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Lol, Kathy!

    Sounds like this is a great warm-up for your real writing!

  • 5. Jennifer Y  |  September 1, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    I am working on the reading goal myself. I am doing this as an individual and I set my goal for the month at 5000 pages. And the other night I sat down to figure out the pace I’d need to keep. I am hopeful that I can do it.

    I think it is neat that this is a reader and writer event and for a great cause. Good luck to everyone!!!

    I have been blogging about the event and I am gonna blog each week about my progress. This will help get the word out and hopefully help me to stay motivated. (Not that I need motivation to read…LOL).

  • 6. tbodwell  |  September 1, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Motivation to read? LOL

    Yeah, I figure for readers it is more like an EXCUSE to read more. I’m sorry, can’t cook dinner now–I’m reading to fight Cystic Fibrosis.

    Go to the gym? Can’t–must get my pages read today.

    I found this cool progress gauge that I’m using on my blog to keep track of my word count. I think it would work fine for a page count too. It is the zokutour word meter and you can find it at:

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