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Blessed Are the Weird: A Manifesto for Creatives Paperback – September 21, 2016
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Blessed Are The Weird is a clarion call for those who stand outside traditional norms (whether externally, internally, or both) to rise up and boldly share our artistic expressions and passionate voices with the world. Jacob Nordby's words, heart, and bold commitment to positive change during these tumultuous times are needed now more than ever. I'm honored to call him a friend and brother on this path.
Sera Beak - author of Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic's Love Story
Blessed are those who read this bold and brilliant book and heed its call. Nordby passionately captures the heart and soul of creative change agents of the past, thereby giving us the inspiration and permission to be as wildly weird and courageously creative as we truly are, now. We weirdos need this book in order to appreciate that we come from a daring and determined lineage that is devoted not only to unleashing the personal soul, but also the global soul. If there's any time to be weird, it's now. And, Jacob Nordby is lighting the way for us all.
About the Author
Jacob Nordby is an award winning novelist, essayist, and podcast host. He leads a worldwide conversation on social media via his Facebook author page and Blessed Are the Weird community page. He is the founder and teacher of the Creative UnBootcamp online course for writers (and those who want to be), and founder of the indie press Manifesto Publishing House. He is currently at work on two new novels. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Blessed Are The Weird begins with a chapter-by-chapter exploration of the meaning behind Jacob Nordby's wildly popular poem from which his book draws its title.
"Blessed are the weird people:
poets, misfits, writers
mystics, painters, troubadours
for they teach us to see the world through different eyes."
He offers an expanded version of the poem called Beatitudes for the Weird, which opens even more windows through which we can catch the grand vision he has for the vital role that 'weird' creatives of all stripes play in nourishing the deep longings of the human heart.
For Nordby, creative 'misfits' play the alchemist's role, offering a transformative vision through which the world can see the magic at work in the seemingly mundane details of life.
"We wait, starving for moments of high magic to inspire us,
but life is a banquet of common enchantment
waiting for our alchemists' eyes to notice."
Weird People venture into unmapped places, beyond the boundaries of what is safe. In so doing, throughout the ages, these brave adventurers have changed the world, each in their own unique way.
"We have this radical desire to follow our inner longings no matter where they lead us--and we have come to understand that they are going to nearly always take us most people aren't comfortable in going. In fact, this is why Weird People have always been the ones who move humanity forward. We are the ones willing to go to the verge of the horizon, where the known world disappears into mystery and uncertainty, to lean out over the raw edge of our own fear, and then take another step."
The second half of the book deals with so much more than just creativity. It examines discovering your own unique purpose, and the struggle to actualize that into an authentic, passionate life.
"Living out a creative life means taking ultimate responsibility for everything in it. It means we are not waiting for anyone or anything to come along and give us the keys of happiness. . . And yes, it is weird to live this way because so few are doing it."
"Trying to express our deepest truth in life--and by that I mean living out a life that reflects who we really are--is usually a crooked path with many switchbacks, dead end adventures, and hot, thirsty marches."
Nordby helpfully shares from his own life, how self-discovery, and pushing past discomfort and the fear of uncertainty is vital to taking hold of the kind of life which is fulfilling and in harmony with our inner purpose.
"Magic is first in knowing ourselves,
Next, what we truly desire,
Then giving ourselves permission
To go for it with a whole heart."
I hope you can see from the quotes I've shared, that while Blessed Are The Weird is squarely aimed at creative types of all sorts, it is ultimately concerned with the deepest questions of the human heart. As such, it is an inspiring read for even those who don't consider themselves to be creatives.
As a bonus, the book is loaded with life examples, and choice quotes from luminous misfits throughout history who have been courageous enough to rebel against the straightjacket of ordinary existence, in order to live by their own lights.
A thoroughly enjoyable read, Blessed Are The Weird felt fresh and vital throughout, not some stale regurgitation of cobbled-together ideas. There is even a chapter on the connection between sex and creativity! I had my highlighter out frequently, to mark passages which I wanted to revisit in the future.
It's clear that Nordby knows of what he speaks, and that vitality comes through in his writing. Blessed Are the Weird has given me a greater vision and renewed passion for pursuing my creative calling, and for that I am very grateful. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
For anyone struggling with the birth of ideas or the physical manifestation of their wildest dreams THIS is one of the most honest and approachable descriptions of the condition of Creator I have ever had the pleasure to experience...artist to entrepreneurs should...no must ....read this inspiring book!