A Writer’s Journey

By: Jeneé

“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”

-Abraham Maslow

All my life I knew that I was going to be a writer, and I was going to be good at it. I have written several short stories with friends, as well as, alone over the years.  I completed my first unpublished manuscript at the tender age of 12 and I was the happiest girl in the world. I felt like I could take on the world looking at the huge stack of papers that I had created on an old dinosaur of a computer. (Nothing like what we have these days lol).

I rode that high for about a month and then I went back to my pre-teen life. Of course, I continued to write, but my headspace was not quite where it needed to be to pursue a career in writing just yet. Time went on and I had my first child. (Complete Game Changer!) I was still very young… 16 to be exact. I was constantly having to listen to people tell me how my baby was going to change everything and all my plans did not matter anymore. 

I knew having a baby so young was going to be hard, but then I heard my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. That moment gave my life so much purpose, it made me want to do better.  I just did not know how bumpy the journey was going to be.

 Three years later, I found out I was pregnant again. This time I was 19 years old, house hopping, and a high school dropout. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life and I needed to figure it out quickly.

One day, I was riding in the car with my dad and we were having a conversation about life and how quickly time moves past us. He talked me into taking my GED and being done with school so I could move into the working world. With a little hesitation, I agreed and the next day I was at the testing center prepared to take the test blindly and very pregnant. 

Two weeks later, my dad called me to let me know he had received my results. I Passed! That lit a fire under me something crazy. A couple of months later I was in my place, had my license, and now my car. I was finally able to give my babies a comfortable life.

When my youngest son was 8 months old, their father and I decided to get married after being together for 5 years. On January 28, 2012, I became a married woman at 20.

Life changed quickly for me after I got married, learning to be a wife and mother while still learning myself was heavy I will admit it. There was just something about it all that kept me going. I loved being a wife and mother, but somewhere down the line, there was a breakdown in my marriage. However, that never stopped us from making more babies.

A year later, my youngest son was born on November 7, 2013, unfortunately, he passed away at home 3 months and 18 days later. 

Unbeknownst to me, I was already pregnant again with my only daughter who was born on December 29, 2014.  As much as I wanted that to be a happy time in my life it was very toxic and uncomfortable and in all the turmoil, I was beginning to lose myself again. 

In August 2016, I decided to go back to school for a degree in business. That turned out to be the best decision I ever made. My husband was furious that I had taken on that debt. It did not matter that it was something I wanted to do to better myself. That was the last straw for me, paired with everything else that was tearing us apart I decided for my mental health it was time to let go. That was the end of my marriage.

I graduated from college in January 2017 in the middle of my family falling apart and my children grieving the only family dynamic they had ever known. Things were tough for me going from having a husband that was the breadwinner to having to pull my bootstraps up and figure it out. 

My father called in some favors for me and got me a job on a hot dog truck where I was getting paid daily plus making tips. As a business major, that was not something that I wanted to be doing, but I was on a mission to get my life back. Day after day, I sat on that truck miserable, I spent my days crying and praying. Then one day I got the call that I say changed my life in March 2018.

I was coming in from another miserable day at work and I got a call from my older sister. She told me she had someone that she wanted me to meet. Of course, I was so bitter at this point that I was not the nicest person. This voice came over the phone and it was so welcoming and warm I fell right into it.  His name was Dom (Domonique), and he knew all about the heartache I was dealing with, which I later found out had caused him to be alone. 

With my head all over the place, I was not in the position to be anything to this man so after our first talk we did not talk again for a week. while the thought of him rolled around in my head as I debated with myself if this was the right thing to do. I had already spent 12 years in a bad situation and I was not looking forward to going through any of that again. 

So, I will admit, I let his number collect dust in my phone. We texted a few times, but I still was not all the way acquainted with the dating scene. I finally texted him, which led to a phone call, and that led to our first date that night. 

One thing led to another and the next thing I knew we were getting our first house together. Now, where I come from most people would say that we moved fast, but I feel like we moved on God’s time to learn what we needed from each other because you never know a person fully until you live with them. 

Before meeting him, I had started writing a book to keep my mind steady. The working title was Hood Logic. It started very angry and hurt almost as if you could feel the pain in the story. However, the more this man loved me, the more the book started to soften up and lean more towards romance. We would lay awake at night and talk about me getting published and I would shy away making excuses for why I did not think that was a good idea. He got me out of my head and kept pushing me to finish what I started all those months before. Either way, I was just about finished with it and needed to figure out what I was going to do next because up until this point I had never been published. 

The book finally came to an end after nine months (It was like my baby) and now it was time to decide if I was going to try and self-publish or if I was going to take the traditional route or even publish at all. I chose the traditional route once I saw what self-publishing was about. 

I had been following an author by the name of Miss Candice for some time and I had recently seen that she was accepting publishing submissions. I knew I had to take the chance. I emailed her and from there I was a published author. I dropped my first book on October 20th, 2019 under Miss Candice Presents titled Imagine & Dominic: Catchin’ Feelings for a Real One, and my career had started. 

In a year, I was able to complete seven more urban fiction novels with this publishing company. In May of 2021, my contract had been fulfilled, and I was ready to do something else. Then of course the world shut down so things were chill for a while. Unfortunately, my family did have a run-in with COVID at the beginning of 2022.  I was sick for three months and it was the scariest thing I have ever experienced.  

In September 2022, Myself and Dom enrolled in Film School at the Motion Picture Institute of Troy, MI. It was a 12-month independent filmmaking program and I have to say that it was probably one of the best years of my life. The people I met, the things I learned, and most of all the family I acquired. Anyone out there who is looking into filmmaking don’t pass them by they are great. 

However, as bittersweet as it is, our journey recently came to an end as of September 7th, 2023 and we are now certified Dom as a Cinematographer/ Editor and myself as a Screenwriter/ Director… So, with the things that I have obtained in film school my next goal is to set the film industry on fire one script at a time…

The message behind my story is… No matter what stands in your way, when you establish who you are stay with it because that is WHO YOU ARE! Your journey may be rough but don’t quit… Keep going!



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