Today, I’m the guest poster at Word Count: Freelancing in the Digital Age, the terrific blog for writers by Michelle Rafter. I’ve talked about why writers need math here Math for Grownups before. At Word Count, I get down to brass tacks.

Hope you’ll take a look!

I’ve got good news and bad news.

The bad: You do need math, even as a writer. Whether you’re reporting on a business, interpreting statistics or managing your freelance career, math is a big deal.

The good: You don’t have to like it. The better: Forget about finding cosine or using the quadratic formula. A few basics are all you need. You can start with these:

**1. Calculate a percent. **You learn that a company’s revenue has fallen by $2.5 million over five years. That’s a lot of money, right? Well, actually it depends on the company’s revenue over the last five years. If total revenue was $5 billion, the company lost 5 percent. To calculate that, divide 2.5 million by 5 billion. But if the company’s total revenue over five years was $5 million, the company lost a whopping 50 percent. Using a percent gets to the meat of those numbers.