The beginning, the middle, and the end
Photo provided by the author, Henery X
I never wanted to be what I became until I became what I would become. — Henery X
The Short Version Of My Writing Journey
2022, Henery X ©
The first thing I ever wrote creatively was a rap. This was when cassette tapes were popular. It was the summer of 1987. I know it was 1987 because this is when the Paid In Full project by Eric B & Rakim came out. I recorded my rap with the instrumental version of their song, Move The Crowd, in the background. Shortly after I created my masterpiece, I drove around, blasting it from my car speakers.
My reading journey started around the same time I wrote my creative rap. My author of choice was the late Donald Goines, who was a local author, whose urban fiction shined light on street life of the 70s. His books were very popular, so much so that several of them were made into movies. One in particular, Never Die Alone, starred the late legendary rapper DMX. Shortly after reading all of Mister Goines books, I began writing my version of street life. When I say this was a mind dump, I’m not exaggerating. It was so outrageous that even I didn’t believe any of it, plus it was very difficult to read because I did it in one never-ending paragraph. It was a very unattractive first attempt, very unattractive indeed.
It would be many years later until I would begin writing and reading anything else because I began doing other things, such as drawing and playing baseball.
In the mid to late-90s and thanks to rappers such as Big Pun, DMX, Jay Z, Nas, KRS-One, Tupac, and Rakim, just to name a few, I began writing again. This was also the time I had begun my journey of self-discovery. Though I wasn’t as enlightened as I am now, I was far from where I had been when I first listened to the Paid In Full cassette tape. My first experience had me not understanding anything Rakim was saying, but I knew I loved his delivery. But my second experience as an enlightened being left my mind blown, so much so that my way of writing raps completely changed. I went from writing street lyrics to lyrics that displayed conscious wordplay. Then KRS-ONE’s stage name made me fall in love with creating acronyms, plus his versatile style was appealing as well. The written word recited played an important part in me becoming a full-fledged writer. Just being able to hear and comprehend that slick talk had my spirit vibrating on a different frequency, which was an indescribable feeling, but one I would grow to appreciate tremendously.
When it came to reading during this time, my genre of choice was fiction. I loved the offerings of authors such as Ann Rice, Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz, Ian Fleming, Terry McMillan, and Sister Souljah, just to name a few. But it would be the book King Con, by Stephen J. Cannell that would inspire me to start writing my urban novel, It Was Destined, which would later be entitled It Was Destined… Urban Legend.
I would complete five of the ten chapters of It Was Destined… Urban Legend and just stopped writing it until 2019. I focused on reading, which would lead me to reading well over 300 books. But I was no longer just reading fiction. Now my taste included intellectual literature as well. I was getting in tune with the offerings of George Jackson, Huey P. Newton, Nikki Giovanni, Iyanla Vanzant, Wayne Dyer, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, and Les Brown, whose inspirational quotes inspired me to start creating my own. But it would be the book Breaking The Chains of Psychological Slavery, by Dr. Na’im Akbar, that would influence my writing style most of all. The book in question changed my entire way of thinking. I mean, I questioned everything and analyzed every answer.
I wrote everything I wrote after reading Breaking The Psychological Chains of Slavery to shine light where I felt darkness dwelled. Raps, short stories, articles, acronyms, quotes, and eventually my books were all geared towards helping others to help themselves.
In 2018, Positive Energy 24/7 was self-published. Shortly after I held the book in question in my hand, I began writing the last five chapters of It Was Destined… Urban Legend. Shortly after I held It Was Destined… Urban Legend in my hands I said aloud, and to myself, that I was going to write ten books in ten years. So, I began this journey immediately. To date, I have five self-published books; I have the manuscript for my sixth book complete, and I’m putting the finishing touches on the manuscript for my seventh book.
Photo provided by the author, Henery X
Of late, and because of obligations I voluntarily took on, my desire to write has slowly been killed. I say slowly because it didn’t occur overnight, but over time. Every time I was about to write something, I was called upon to do some task only I could do. Eventually, I felt more compelled to fight the desire to write than to embrace it, as I once had. I now only write comments written after I’ve read offerings from other writers, as well as offerings I write for prompts in the Clubhouse club I created called Writer’s Way. I’m hoping that my love of reading, which inspired me to really want to write in the first place, will rekindle the desire to want to write again. But if not, that’s alright, and I’ll be alright. I’m still doing other things within the literary world, such as coaching other writers and editing manuscripts. Change is good, but only if we’re willing to embrace it. If my time as a writer has ended, I can say I enjoyed every second of the journey, even the parts that damn near drove me insane.
So, there you have it, the short version of my writing journey, then and now. Trust me, it’s so much I left out due to time. I may add the rest in a book version, who knows.
Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my offering. May all you deserve and desire flow abundantly into your life, as a river does into a sea.
Remember. I’m not here to convince you to believe. I’m here to offer you something else to consider.
May we never lose our desire to outdo what we’ve already done.
Peace, Love, and the utmost Respect.