Survival Tips for Writers

This month has been crazy. I turned 29, received my first professional edits on a MS, and have been querying a new novel. And my husband is deployed.

Being a writer in the absolute best of times is difficult. A few months ago, my husband found a piece of paper that I had stashed in my writing notebook. It had a list of "pick-me-ups" I'd been jotting down to remind myself of the positives to chasing my dream. At first, I was a little embarrassed he'd found out I needed pick-me-ups and worse, that I'd written them down and kept them for later.

He, being the wonderful supporter that he is, read them thoughtfully and gave me an I-love-you-even-more smile. He gets me. Okay. Enough sappiness. :)

Today, I read back through them and decided I'd share. I know I'm not the only writer with tough days, and there's absolutely no shame is admitting that we have them. May they bless you as they have me.

  • Don't be critical of yourself or anyone else.
    • "If you don't have something nice to say, say nothing at all." This applies to yourself too. We can be our cruelest critic, but there's enough of those in the world. Don't join them. On the flip side, never criticize your fellow writers. They're struggling too, and they need your support. And guess what? One day you'll need theirs.
  • Reward yourself by creating something.
    • Maybe write a poem or short story to refocus and remind yourself why you love the art.
  • Give. 
    • Encouragement, hugs, shares, favorites, reviews, likes, and love to all those who enrich your life and even those who don't. Giving fills the heart with joy and helps us develop a habit of caring for others more than ourselves, which always brings fulfillment.
  • Love and never let go.
    • You love to write. Don't let negativity deter you. Never let go of your dream. It's a part of you, and it will carry you through all the adversity.
  • Don't wish. Dream.
    • There's a clear distinction between a wish and a dream. A wish you blow on a dandelion and pray some wish fairy picks it up and grants it. You don't really believe a wish will ever happen. A dream has to happen! It will not go away with one breath on a weed. It is consuming and relentless in its pursuit. 
  • Have a plan but be flexible.
    • Be willing to adapt. Your dream may not be handed to you on the shiny platter you'd hoped. It may take more than your best efforts, and it may take breaking a window when the door doesn't open in order to bust into the world. Whatever. It. Takes.
  • Failure is not a word.
    • There's only experience. Some good. Some bad. Both will make you stronger, wiser, and better for it.

Determination and hard work propels dreams. Keep on keeping on, friends. 


Seventeen year old Quincy learns she is the heir to a royal kingdom, to claim her place in the Thalassic she must allow the ocean to claim her, as a mermaid.

Thalassa means: of the sea. Every single important moment in Quincy’s life has to do with water. She sits now at the bottom of the pool at her new school, drowning. Feeling like someone was holding her there.  She was about to die in the same way her parents did, three years ago.

She is about to gulp down the water, when two strong arms grab her and rip her from the water.  Her last fleeting thought before breaking the surface was something that would haunt her, “If I would have taken a breath underwater, it would have felt like coming home."

The book will be $0.99 the first 72 hours!  

Claiming Ataris Playlist:

Some Nights: Fun
Kiss Me: Ed Sheeran
I Knew You Were Trouble: Taylor Swift 
Vulnerable: Secondhand Serenade 
We Are Young: Fun
Standard Lines: Dashboard Confessional 
BlackBird: Sarah McLachlan 
Dreaming With a Broken Heart: John Mayer
Never Say Never: Justin Bieber Acoustic
Everything Has Changed: Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran
Mumford and Sons: I Will Wait
Am I Breathing Underwater: Metric
Home: Phillip Phillips

Winter Solstice:

The Harlem Shake: Baauer
Thrift Shop: Macklemore 
I'll Stand By You: The Pretenders
Booty Work: Dorm Parties
The Way You Look Tonight: Michael Buble 



Ruby wrote her first book during her senior year of college and hasn't stopped writing since. She graduated with a degree in History and a minor in Psychology. When she isn’t manically writing stories on her laptop, she is coaching a high school dance team. You can find her hanging out with her tall, dark, and handsome husband or playing with her adorable little boy. She is from San Diego but was raised in Northern Utah. Her dad nicknamed her Rube at a young age and it always stuck. She currently lives in Utah under the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. Ruby loves to read all things New Adult and Young Adult. She is a wannabe yogi and shamelessly indulges in reality TV. You might find her with a Diet Coke with Vanilla in it on most days, as this is what she considers to be water. Ruby continues to write more stories. Look for more titles by Ruby coming soon.

Publishing: the Beauty & the Beast

As many of you know, I've been seeking publication for a few years now. I've read everything I could get my hands on about which route is best. Not long ago, the best option was ALWAYS traditional. Now it's not so clear. So as any good geek would do, I started a pros and cons list.



  • No out of pocket costs on formatting, cover, and editing.
  • Expert advice from seasoned professionals.
  • Book can be listed in a book store! (Big A+)
  • Vetting from the pros. Our fragile confidence sometimes needs someone who knows what they're talking about to tell us we're enough.
  • No stigma. Feel more like the REAL deal. Feels more like a career than a venture.
  • They have unlimited resources.
  • Still have to market my book.
  • Have no control.
  • May be obligated to offer first dibs on forthcoming books. 
  • Have to obey most if not all editorial suggestions, despite personal feelings. 
  • Receive little one-on-one attention. 
  • Communication will probably be slower, but may be more professional.
  • A lot of profits go to both the publisher and the agent.

Small Press

  • No upfront publishing costs.
  • More likely to find a home for book.
  • Improves the stigma.
  • May help find readers, if the press has dedicated followers.
  • Provides editing, formatting, cover, etc.
  • Communication will likely be more personal.
  • Still have to pay for marketing.
  • Have limited control.
  • Make significantly less per book than with self-publishing.
  • Anything a small press can provide can be outsourced with the appropriate funds.
  • Most only publish paperback and e-books.


  • Have all the control.
  • Can choose favorite artists, editors, and platforms to publish.
  • Will obtain all net profits.
  • No worries about rejections.
  • The pride in knowing you can actually make it happen.
  • Still can publish hardbacks with IngramSpark.
  • Have to front all the costs.
  • Must research A LOT to find the most professional way to publish.
  • Despite great advancements, there is still somewhat of a stigma (mostly with other writers and publishing professionals) with self-publishing.
  • The only vetting one will find is through the readers and their ratings.

There is so much to take into account when choosing to publish, no matter which route you take. A writer can be successful with either one of these. Publishing is constantly evolving, and what's true today may be completely different a year from now. Also, what's true to me may not be for you. What's important is that we, as writers, continue to support authors from every publishing background because we're all in this together.