The War of Art: Break through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield, Robert McKee (Foreword by)

(Paperback - Warner Books Edition)

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  • Pub. Date: April 2003
  • 192pp
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    Product Details

    • Pub. Date: April 2003
    • Publisher:Grand Central Publishing
    • Format: Paperback, 192pp

    Synopsis

    The Art of War meets "The Artist's Way" in this no-nonsense, profoundly inspiring guide to overcoming creative blocks of every kind.

    Customer Reviews

    Deceptively simple, profoundly comprehensive and decidedly effective.by StellaByStarlight

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    May 02, 2009: Resistance...oh, boy. A killer...of manifesting so many plans, dreams, hopes. Immediately attracted to The War of Art when I came across it, I was then so frustratingly resistant to overcoming my Resistance that I kept avoiding reading it. I kept it on my night table so I wouldn't forget it was there. Then I forced myself to read a little at a time. I began to recognize how Resistance does its work in so many aspects of my life, and the harder I tried to avoid reading further, the more I knew I had found a true ally in my battle to come to terms with the force of Resistance that stood in my way. Steven Pressfield's style in laying out the battle plans for the War of Art is straightforward, clear, respectful, hopeful and truly effective. I am sincerely grateful for his willingness to share his experience and insight with the rest of us poor slobs who struggle to express our art, whatever that art might be. "Just do it" sounds so easy, but we all know how difficult it is to do just that. This powerful little book illuminates the Enemy and teaches us strategies in how to set free our individual ability to meet Resistance on a daily basis and kick its ass. I'm not only painting again, I've started writing the novel that's been living in my head for years. The best part, though, is that I finally realize that it is not the end result that is important...it really is the day-to-day doing of the work that matters and is so satisfying. If you don't read any other "motivational" book in your life, read this one.

    Help for the self-destructiveby turnerguns

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    May 02, 2009: Steven Pressfield's historical novels are well-researched, vividly imagined, and satisfyingly dramatic. Having read THE WAR OF ART, I now understand why. Pressfield has learned how to defeat (or at least to battle to a stand-still) what he calls "resistance," that self-defeating, self-destructive negative energy residing within all of us, the negative energy that defeats would-be writers, dieters, addicts, students, artists, entrepreneurs, heroes, and change-agents many times. "Resistance," says Pressfield, "cannot be reasoned with. It understands nothing but power. It is an engine of destruction, programmed from the factory with one object only: to prevent us from doing our work. Resistance is implacable, intractable, indefatigable. Reduce it to a single cell and that cell will continue to attack." Worse, "The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it."

    This is more than mere writer's block; it is the fear we experience when we strive to reach a high plane of being. If you go low, decide to end your work as an artist and go into a career in advertising, Pressfield says you have nothing to worry about, resistance will not hinder you.

    Pressfield's book reminds me a bit of Emerson's "Self-Reliance." Emerson said that our desire to conform and be one of the gang combined with our desire for consistency of self to prevent us from realizing our potential. Pressfield recognizes the power of social pressure: losers want to hang with other losers, so they sabotage anyone who tries to rise above.

    He also gives us advice--avoid trouble, whether it arrives in the guise of consumerism or intoxicants: "The working artist will not tolerate trouble in her life because she knows trouble prevents her from doing her work. The working artist banishes from her world all sources of trouble. She harnesses the urge for trouble and transforms it in her work." So, don't smoke dope, don't get drunk, don't allow the world to be too much with you, getting and spending, lest you lay waste your powers.

    But even when you understand the power of resistance, it does not die easily. The way to kill it is with work, hard work, sometimes unrewarded hard work, the work done for its own sake, the work the artist must do to achieve his vision. That sounds about right.


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