The War of Art

By Steven Pressfield,

Book cover of The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Book description

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide forsucceeding in any creative sphere, The War ofArt is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid theroadblocks of any creative endeavor—be…

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Why read it?

19 authors picked The War of Art as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I’m a world-class procrastinator. Some might say I’m high-functioning, in the sense that I manage to accomplish quite a lot of work, just not always on the projects I say are important to me.

Pressfield’s book has become a classic for those of us who work in creative fields. I’d heard about it for years, but never took the leap until recently. It’s very powerful, a little like having a very tough coach breathing down your neck, pushing you to do better.

Pressfield boils the creative person’s problem down to one thing—resistance—which I now regard as a dark force within…

Shifting from one career to another offers no guarantee of success in the new venture. This is especially true for those of us answering a creative vocation.

The War of Art acknowledges the thousand difficulties any artist faces when trying to render ideas into a livelihood, and reduces them to a singularity: Resistance. Pressfield takes no prisoners, and offers no sympathy for the creative wannabe who can’t find time to work, or edit, or refine, or take whatever next step is required to continue moving forward.

He teaches the reader how to identify a blockage and eliminate it, again and…

From Donald's list on surviving a life-changing challenge.

The War of Art is an essential book for any creative person who feels blocked, stuck, gets off track, or is held back by self-doubt.

Pressfield’s identification of the many faces of Resistance, along with his distinction between the professional and the amateur, helped me fend off an inner critic that had hindered me for decades, allowing me to finish four books (and counting) I had previously abandoned.

Pressfield hammers home this crucial point: “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every…

From David's list on living your best life.

The War of Art is one of those ‘If you were on a desert island and could only bring one book with you’ kind of books.

I have read it 5-6 times and the words in it inspired me and kept me on the path to finish both of the books I’ve written. Straight-forward, short chapters… probably my favorite book of all-time. Even if you’re not a writer, there’s a good chance Pressfield’s words will resonate with you.

Ostensibly about art and breaking through creative blocks, this book is actually about breaking through all inner blocks.

Whenever I find myself indulging in “lack thinking,” and “no one wants this” and “I’m not good enough”… whenever I feel deep longing to try something new or let my own wisdom shine but the resistance to doing so is huge… I pull this book out.

Pressfield has the ability to dismantle our inner resistance in a heartbeat.

Steven Pressfield is a national treasure.

In this highly readable, concise book, the acclaimed author and screenwriter shares his experience in overcoming the psychological snares that lay in wait for any creative endeavor.

He identifies and takes aim at “The Resistance,” the inner voice of discouragement and distraction that is familiar to everyone aiming for artistic expression. 

For me, as an artist, there is no greater feeling than bringing a vision into reality and welcoming the formless into form. Having to wrestle with the angels of creativity and the demons of resistance is exhausting, soul-enlivening work. Steven Pressfield brilliantly describes and guides readers through this process in his seminal work The War of Art. Steven invites us to square our shoulders towards all that we’ve been resisting, as a means of facing the life we know we’re capable of and called to live. The book is divided into three parts, or books within the book: Book…

I loved this book because Steven Pressfield turns on a floodlight to show you what self-sabotage truly looks like and masterfully shows you how to tame it. And he does it with a sense of humor and inspiration.

To live consciously and deliberately is the advice shared in the book, and he does such a great job of reminding the reader why we fall prey to and how to avoid self-sabotage. It doesn’t matter if one is an artist, salesperson, or what have you. I found this book to be a really good motivating force and I know others will…

When I started writing, I struggled with being consistent. I used to wait for inspiration and rarely published anything. That completely changed after reading The War of Art. It taught me that everyone struggles with resistance. The only way to overcome it is to show up every day to do the work. So, I no longer wait for inspiration. I sit down every day and write — no matter if I feel like it or not.

From Patrik's list on how to develop self-discipline.

This is a must-read book for everyone, and I recommend reading it again every six months. This book is inspirational, funny, and is a good kick in the pants that we all need to achieve our professional and personal goals. This book will help you examine internal obstacles and create a game plan to conquer your internal foe, so you can fulfill what is truly important to you in life. You know how you can watch a movie or TV show a second and third time, and see things you didn’t see the first time? This is why I believe…

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