In a nutshell, the problem with my memoir, Fighting for Redemption, was that I wrote it while I was very young.
Everyone has a story worth telling, some tidbit of wisdom that they can contribute to the world. But to deliver that wisdom in the best way requires reflection over a lifetime.
I’d bet I’m one of the only writers who has innovated his own story so many times. Throughout ten years and counting, I’ve published many editions and revisions of it.
More than I’ve kept count.
Each time, I don’t change the events of the story, or how they play out. I change the delivery of the moral, and the story’s general narrative tone. The drive of the narrative’s purpose.
This occurs because of the way that I take criticism into consideration. I’ve been on a journey of self-actualization. So there is always something more to improve about myself as I evolve as a person.
Thinking this way leads me to return to it, to check what I missed or could have done better. This is a process of self-reflection, because the events of the story are me.
I am the character in the story. To criticize the story is to criticize me in a way: either the man in the words, or the man writing the words.
I see a completely different writing at 30 than I saw at 24. And I’m likely to see a different story again at 50.
This is natural.
It’s an infinite process, because a writer can never perfect their work. There is always something more to tweak. Something that can be rewritten with a bit more mastery.
The positive note to take into consideration is the fact that I do see a different story as I grow. I see continual flaws, but this means that it is true that I am growing.
To see flaws now that I didn’t before means that my perspective has changed. This can only happen if I have grown.
And if I have grown, I have more to give. This calls for a revision.
Two Stories Told
There are actually two stories told with Fighting For Redemption.
One was of a man who existed; the other is of a man who is existing, evolving.
The man you’d meet in person is not the man you’d meet in the story. This is because the man you’d meet in person evolved from the man in the story.
One could write a story about how a man can evolve from having written his own story.
Because of this, I cannot say that I regret having written it. Even though I keep going back to revise it every two to three years.
If I hadn’t, I would have lived a very miserable life. This is because of how the act of self-reflection yields priceless fruit for decision-making. Without having written it, there would have been no self-reflection. Without self-reflection, I would have made very different life choices, ones that I doubt would have led me to the same freedom, happiness, and contentment that I’ve achieved now.
The Search For Meaning
I keep tweaking the story with a new, published revision, not because someone may leave me a bad review.
I keep tweaking it because I question the value I’m giving to others with my life.
What is the purpose to my life or the value to my existence? I don’t actually know.
The only thing that I know for certain about the purpose of my life is that I don’t actually know what that purpose is, or if it even exists.
Therein, how I could pretend to know some grand purpose or moral to my life story? How could I try to somehow force meaning into the events of the story, and in the process tell the audience what to think of them?
I can’t, and shouldn’t try to. It won’t have a forced moral. Its title may be Fighting for Redemption, but you determine what I did wrong or right that would require redemption, if at all.
There is no grand purpose to this version of “Norton’s Mind.”
It’s cleaner. Sleeker. With far less insecurity.
There are neither many colors nor needless widgets. Nor tons of content focused on convincing you that I am some kind of character, rather than me being my true character.
There is no fluff distracting you from the deeper meaning of what exists. No vocabulary that’s bigger than it needs to be, nor grammar more complex.
There is nothing stopping you from seeing me.
Of what is and what I have to say.
There is only a blank slate of snow and a wolf. The avatar of my heart and the state of simplicity I’ve achieved. The state of peace.
You choose to keep my words on your screen. In your mind.
That is my existence to you.
What meaning or purpose there is at all to attach to my existence is your decision.
I give myself to you.
Expect the upcoming rendition of the memoir to reflect the same.
Mike Norton is an American award-winning Internet marketing strategist with a BA in Internet marketing from Full Sail University.
He’s also a writer, entrepreneur, and a quantum physicist studying part-time at the University of York. He is the bestselling independent author of Fighting for Redemption, and a veteran of the United States military who is a 7-time winner of the USS Dwight Eisenhower award for essays of world peace and respect.
As a mostly self-educated vagabond, he gains inspiration from a myriad of experiences wrought from the adventures of his nomadic lifestyle. He prolifically writes and journals where ever he goes in the world, from one country to the next.