My Gutsy Story® by D. Helene.
When I chose to become a journalist, I did so because of my passion for writing, always assuming I’d have enough money to live. I did pretty well living paycheck to paycheck for most of my career until the Great Recession.
After getting laid off from my last full-time writing job in 2008, I was lucky enough to be able to cobble together two part-time jobs. A few years later, I had the courage to quit one of them to focus on my writing. I got laid off from the second one a few months later.
The next few years were tough – working part-time jobs when I could get them, but still focusing on writing, not just out of passion but now also as a coping tool, along with spirituality and yoga, to help me process circumstances beyond my control.
I started writing down some anecdotes about what it’s like to live as one of the 99% – those of us that struggle sometimes to make ends meet. Little did I know that they eventually would be woven together into my first novel.
This book, The Diary of a 99%-er: The Struggle Between Survival and Creative Expression, parallels my own struggle between the primal urge to create and the basic necessity of survival. While it’s a work of fiction, I drew upon my own internal conflict and my coping tools of spirituality and yoga.
While I’ve been a journalist for most of my career, and published my first book (a biography) in 2013, writing a novel was a huge leap that required courage and faith.
It also required discipline and perseverance to see the book through the roller coaster of several moves — including to Northern California and back to OC; through several jobs; and through a physically-intense, yoga teacher training program.
Through all of this I was struggling with the desire to write and express myself creatively while trying to pay the rent and stay afloat in OC, which has some of the highest rents in the country. It wasn’t just me. I knew several people who were borderline homeless because of unemployment or chronic underemployment. I knew there was a bigger story to tell.
So, I embraced writing this novel wholeheartedly. I infused it with humor, to mitigate the seriousness of the struggle. I used some real-life facts, like a man who shot his wife and their dog in Laguna Beach a few years back, allegedly due to financial distress.
I continued my spiritual and yoga practices and decided to become a yoga teacher, to deepen my own practice and share my passion with others. I’ve been teaching yoga since last June.
Writing this book has been a labor of love and courage and I truly hope it inspires and entertains others and lets people who are experiencing the same struggle know: You are not alone! When you’re going through hell, keep going! Or keep writing, as I like to say!
D. Helene states:
“We are the majority of Americans, who have to work for a living, sometimes struggling to just keep a roof over our heads.
If this is you, you can relate to this novel.”
You can find the book on Amazon here.
To find out More ABOUT D. Helene.
Join D. Helene on Twitter: @DHelene 42
Join D. Helene on Facebook