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2014

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of freelance writing and blogging, it’s this: I should always, always celebrate accomplishments, big and small. Truth is, 2014 was a really, really big year for Math for Grownups. So I hope you’ll indulge me in this little round up of the great things that have happened since last year at this time.

And I hope you’ll spend a few moments celebrating your own wins. (Share them in the comments section, so we can all cheer for you!)

Publication of Math for Writers

I had plans for this book since Math for Grownups published in 2011. Fear and a lot of anxiety kept me from my goal for a long time, but I finally pulled it together and got down to work. The writers I know are such smart people, and I wanted to give you all a little boost of confidence in your math abilities. As the subtitle says, with math writers can tell a better story, get published and make more money.

I’m also really proud that I self-published Math for Writers. I knew that finding a publisher would be tricky, and I wanted the autonomy of making my own decisions. It’s been a really amazing process, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of three folks: Jennifer Lawler, development editor; Sandra Hume, copy editor; and Caitlin Proctor of Design Cat Studios, who designed the cover. I highly recommend them all!

Redesign of www.mathforgrownups.com

As my reach expanded to writers and parents and teachers, I decided to put a new face on the Math for Grownups website. And with that redesign, I added more content, like quizzes, the Math Manifestoand even video. I also created a cool free gift to subscribers: a guide to overcoming math anxiety. (If you haven’t snagged yours, be sure to sign up in the bright yellow box on the right!)

Again, I owe a big debt to someone who is much smarter than I. Patrick McCarty of evolv design has been my designer for years and years. I asked for pops of color and a playful look — and that’s exactly what he gave me. Thanks, Patrick!

Named one of GO Magazine’s 100 Women We Love in 2014

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out about this honor! Yep, that’s me, up there with Lily Tomlin, Robin Roberts, Mary Lambert and Ellen Page. Each year, GO chooses 100 lesbians who are making waves. To be on this list means more than just personal recognition — though that’s pretty darned cool! The best part was sharing the math message to a generation of women: girls can do math! (Check out my profile in the magazine.)

Hired a Virtual Assistant

This was a huge step. I’ve been a one-girl shop since I started out on my own in 2005. But with all of my big ideas, I knew I needed to step things up. Kelly Case with Time on Hand Services has been a god-send. Since the spring, she’s hanlded all of the Math at Work Monday interviews, and in the fall, she took over the newsletter. Look for her name to show up more in 2015! I’m so glad to have her on my tiny team of two.

Began Producing Video Online

Perhaps the most fun I’ve had this year is writing and producing my own video. The Math Manifesto series has been a blast. I’ve been writing math video scripts for several years, but this was my first chance to strike out on my own. And while I cringe a little seeing my face and hearing my voice, I feel really great about this accomplishment. The point is to ratchet down the anxiety and demonstrate how simple the math can be. (And sometimes I have to ratchet down my own anxiety about being on camera!)

Coming in 2015

So the best part about reviewing the previous year is the inspiration that comes. (Try it for yourself!) I’ve got big plans for next year, and I hope you’ll join me. Here’s a taste of what may come:

  • More video! I have a great new tool that I’m excited to use. Look for Khan Academy-like learning videos from Math for Grownups.
  • An online stats course for writers. This has been in the works for a while. Stay tuned for the details!
  • In-person speaking events. I’m showing up at a few writers conferences in 2015 (including the American Society for Journalists and Authors (ASJA) in the spring), and it looks like I’ll be working with public school teachers on implementing in-depth, project-based lessons in the classroom. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be teaching again!
  • New resources — for teachers and for writers. I’m developing some special items just for these audiences, and I can’t wait to share them.
  • A new book? This one is a little scary to announce, but I do have plans for two books. Most likely, only one will get done in 2015. Which one will be be? Not sure yet. (And I’m not spilling the beans about either one!)

Of course, I hope you all will stay with me throughout the next year. Invite your friends to subscribe, too! Math for Grownups is on the verge of something really great. Don’t miss out!

Photo Credit: jeff_golden via Compfight cc

Now it’s your turn. What would you like to see here at Math for Grownups? Please share your ideas with me, in the comments section to via email: [email protected]

I’ve had such a great time this year getting to know people and their occupations on a deeper level. It’s that time of year when we reflect on what has been and dream of what will be. I’m thinking back on all the great interviews I had. A few come to mind that I’d love to share with you — just in case you missed them.

First on my mind is Mary the Non-Profit Principal. Loved her sense of humor!  She knew how to turn a serious interview about math and work into an entertaining read. She is gifted on so many levels.

Then I am recalling Louisa the Greeting Card Designer.  What a job!  I love the creativity that she unfolds into her designs.  If only some of those vibes were transmitted to me during our interview!

The next one that comes to mind is Andy the Design Director.  I guess I just have a thing for the creative types!  As I recall the math in his job is mostly done by the computer.  Just think of it though… the math that it takes to do graphic design.  The computer makes his job so much faster in so many ways.

What about Shayna the Cook Supervisor… remember her? Talk about crunching some numbers. She has to convert recipes on a daily basis as well as manage the food budget.  Because I love math, that sounds like a mighty fun job! I’m not so sure about the actually cooking part though.  With me at the stove, the food might not be so great!

Finally, I have to include Kathy the Company President who heads up a manufacturing company. As the president, she has a lot of numbers to look over including tolerances on the design prints, payroll, quality scores and much more. I love hearing about the industry that is the heart of so much in our country. I hope she inspires students to pursue STEM occupations. (Um… she’s also mom to Kelly, my virtual assistant, which is pretty darned cool!)

As 2014 draws to a close, I hope you all get some much deserved time off work and begin calculating your goals for next year.  I’m excited about next year’s Math at Work Monday interviews, but for now it feels good to focus on the holidays.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Photo Credit: Jon Glittenberg via Compfight cc