I’ve been writing for 16 years. I started off just writing in my journal because one of my pastors told me to start keeping a journal next to me. I had just started preaching and I began waking up in the middle of the night-particularly at about 3 a.m. That was the quietest time in my house. I began to hear God speak to me about my life and then through my study of the bible. Then I used journal my journal to express those existential questions and existential realities of my life. After participating in a black history program at my high school, where I interpreted Naomi Long Madgett’s poem Midway, I found out that I liked poetry and that running my mouth was a real gift. I then began to write poetry. I performed spoken word throughout college. I continued to write in my journal. It became therapy before I decided to get therapy. In 2002, I woke up on a Sunday morning because I kept hearing God tell me to write a devotional. I had been reading the Our Daily Bread daily devotional for the past year, so my first devotional was fashioned after that. I sent that devotional out to friends. They were blessed by it. For the next 7-8 years, I wrote devotionals and inspirational blogs that I sent out to over 1000 people via email. I continued to journal. My journal writing became very dark because even though I was writing devotionals and having marginal success in my professional life, I hated myself. I did not love myself. I had these negative ideas about myself, thus my self talk was damaging and deadly. I contemplated death often. Let me be frank, I contemplated suicide often, and tried it twice. This was the content of my journaling. I kept writing poetry. I edited resumes as part of my job, and I did it for a bunch of friends and family. While in college and in my professional career I had to do a bunch of technical writing, so I learned how to write in multiple styles. In 2008, I got frustrated with writing devotionals because that was not all that I could write about. I remember commenting to my ex-wife that I wanted to write about my political and social thoughts, and she said “well do it.” But I was still afraid of rejection. This was during the historic campaign of 2008. So I began blogging, and my blogs began to reflect my social and political thoughts. For the first time I was able to express the ideas that I had held captive in my brain. Then I decided to pursue freelance writing. Around this same time, I heard from God about my longing cry/question “How do I use everything that I am good at, and what is my real purpose?” I had so many ideas, but the simple answer was to professionalize everything that I was doing—speaking, writing, arm chair pundit and scholar, consulting, and advocating. I had a business already and a domain name since I graduated college. I began to research grad school programs and areas of interest. I needed to become a serious scholar and I wanted my writing and speaking to shift towards serious scholarship. Around this same time I began to feel God leading me away from church ministry, to much broader parish. I don’t understand it still. All along people kept telling me to write a book, bit I did not want to write something that did not meet my standards. Yes, I had over 300 devotionals and inspirational writings, but I wanted to write something like what I was reading. I was reading Dyson, West, Gladell, Du Bois, Kimbro, MLK, C.S. Lewis, etc. I had many book ideas; they would often come to me like sermons. I thought I would write something like Make Me Wanna Holler or something about me and my dad or me and my son. When a lady prophesied to me in 2006, that I would write books, I kept that with me as hope. Wow! Ok. I did not know all of this would come out. I was just obedient to the spirit this morning. My journey continues. Funny, I am a staunch critic of the church institution, but I’ve never stop believing in God. I now believe that God is far bigger and powerful than what the institution preaches. Much of the “God Talk” and church talk that I held on to, I let go. But God has remained the constant force in my life. I owe it all to God. It’s nothing but grace that got me here, because none of my hard work was enough. I don’t understand grace anymore, nor can I explain it, but I do know it. I know that God speaks, and when God speaks I listen.