Subtitle of The War of Art book seems very promising: “Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles”. Who wouldn’t want to win, right?
What is the book about
The War of Art is divided into three books. In the first the enemy we fight against is defined – the Resistance. Pressfield describes all its forms, symptoms and ways it attacks. How it fight us, what it uses against us, how we believe it and how we let it trick us, and beat us. The Resistance is personified here, it has its own will, goals and ways.
“Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”
The second book talks about fighting the enemy by becoming a professional. Becoming a person who puts in the hours, pushes through her fears knowing they will forever be there. Main message? Do the important work, do the things you love even though fear and do not give up.
“The professional knows that fear can never be overcome.”
“Making yourself a corporation … reinforces the idea of professionalism because it separates the artist-doing-the-work from the will-and-consciousness-running-the-show.”
In the last part Pressfield talks about Muse, the higher power that is on our side, it helps us create. It’s the Inspiration that strucks us after hours of hard work. It’s a reward for being committed to our craft.
“We come to this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become.”
What do I think about the book
To tell you the truth, I was disappointed with the book. I bought it almost a year ago and started two or three times but made it only to page twenty or so. This last time I read it whole, but didn’t enjoy it much. Maybe the problem is that I was expecting something else, maybe my English is just not advanced enough to appreciate the way in which the book is written, or maybe it just isn’t a book for me.
But even so, I found few ideas and sentences I liked.
What I’ll take from this book
I believe we are mostly fighting ourselves and our irrational fears. I agree it’s an internal and inner fight but for me it’s not about some higher force within us, it’s just us, our mind, our own believes. Changing ourselves, admitting there are things we need to and can change, realizing that most of the fears are just a product of our imagination, these are the hardest parts of the fight.
The bottom line: Create for yourself. However silly or trivial your thing might seem, do it, for your own benefit. If you are lucky you will find people who will appreciate what you do.
Who is Steven Pressfield
Steven Pressfield is an American author. He worked as an advertising copywriter, Hollywood screenwriter and he wrote many fiction and non-fiction books. He was writing all of his life and in his latest book Nobody Wants to Read Your Shi*t he explains the key principles, rules and strategies he learned over the years and how they apply to different forms of writing.
You can find more information about his books on his website.