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I couldn t get into this book I ve read and reread it several times, but it just doesn t do it for me I gave it the second star because he does give some good advice about committing to the work, and staying in the seat Some good bits about discipline and such.I have about 13 years of collegiate and graduate art school under my belt, and I ve worked in the fine and commercial arts Thing is, I hate seeing the challenge of making art turn into this romanticized, epic battle between the poor put upon artist and Mighty Resistance.Maybe it s just that I ve heard so much dreck about artists being prophets and such over the years that it just hits a sore spot Plus, there s the idea he puts forward that you haven t really turned pro until you ve dismissed all non art related activity from your life He s awfully judgmental against those who strive for a balanced, comprehensive life as opposed to a two dimensional one.A better book, honest and less pretentious, is Art and Fear. Holden Caulfield would love this, as would Ernest Hemingway HC had it in for the phonies, and Pressfield has no use for them, either Only he s met the enemy and it is himself And you, gentle reader, need only a mirror to find your enemy Pressfield calls it Resistance, and it lurks in all of us What s , it s every excuse you can possibly think of to delay doing what the Muse put you on this earth to do procrastination, rationalizations, physical sicknesses, psychological conditions with funny letters, family, drama, Twitter, Facebook, busywork, alcohol, drugs, television, your cellphone, fatigue, hopelessness, etc.Hemingway Oh, yeah To make it personal for those who would write, EH called out the faux writers who wanted to be seen writing at the caf s of Paris in the 1920 s It was the Lost Generation s version of I m not a writer, but I play one in caf s Pressfield, a writer as well, often alludes to the trade in The War of Art Too often, writing is something phonies talk of doing and dream of doing but just don t do, or do sporadically, or make excuses as to why they can t do it, or do and fail once or twice, then quit Amateurs, Pressfield calls them The world is split between the pros who sit down, roll up their sleeves, and DO IT every day and he does mean every day and the amateurs who talk a good story while shopping at Excuses R Us.Of course, the same applies to most anything the Dreamy You dreams or once dreamed of doing Should you be working out now Dieting Training for a marathon Swimming Writing Painting Volunteering Reading classics Starting your own business You name it, you can do it, but you choose not to That s right It s a choice, and we make it easy on ourselves.This little manual falls in the dictionary under quick read Esquire magazine calls it a kick in the ass, and I can t argue with that description Pressfield pulls no punches He has little choice The Pretenders are legion and their excuses like Orc armies seemingly endless.The book is divided in three Part One is simply called Resistance Defining the Enemy and leads off with a quote from the Dalai Lama The enemy is a very good teacher Pressfield identifies resistance in its every form Trust me when I say you ll recognize yourself, perhaps multiple times over As the book was penned in 2002, however, he neglects to mention prevalent forms of Resistance that exist today I ll start my work, sure but first, let me check my Twitter feed or let me check updates on Facebook or I have to check e mail and reply to a few folks or reading can wait because I need to TALK about reading on Goodreads which, ironically, cuts deeply into reading time, which is sacrificed on the altar of social time masquerading as reading time Hoo, boy Maybe even reading The War of Art is a form of delaying what I should be doing writing Then again, I m writing this review Is that writing One voice amateur says yes, but another pro says no, it s slumming a shameless ploy for likes and comments, not me pursuing art or income as a freelance writer Hmn This is worse than I thought.Anyway, Part Two is called Combating Resistance Turning Pro and leads with a Telamon of Arcadia quote It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior s life Here s where Pressfield delineates the true pros who tolerate no excuses from amateurs who live by them Page after page, he shares how a professional lives every day A Professional Is Patient, A Professional Seeks Order, A Professional Demystifies, A Professional Acts in the Face of Fear, A Professional Accepts No Excuses, A Professional Plays It As It Lays, A Professional Does Not Take Failure or Success Personally, A Professional Endures Adversity, A Professional Self Validates, and on and professionally on No wonder being a slacker and killing hours online is easier.Part Three It s called Beyond Resistance The Higher Realm and its lead quote comes compliments of Xenophon The first duty is to sacrifice to the gods and pray them to grant you the thoughts, words, and deeds likely to render your command most pleasing to the gods and to bring yourself, your friends, and your city the fullest measure of affection and glory and advantage It s about achievement once you re disciplined and have mentally accepted the challenge Interestingly, Pressfield shares some quirky opinions about Muses, angels, William Blake, William Wordsworth, self vs ego, and hierarchal thinking vs territorial thinking Hint choose self over ego, territory over hierarchy Then mean what you say and spit out your excuses binky.Anyway, if you ve ever wanted to write a book, poem, or screenplay paint or dance or sing or act start a business or charity lose weight and exercise regularly until you look like you should look run a marathon fill in the blank with your once upon a time hope for yourself before Twitter and Facebook and e mail and job and family and social drama and health issues and excuses dragged you down, this just might be your book It s short, but worthy of rereading I can imagine returning to certain excerpts for an old fashioned butt kicking, then getting back on that horse beside Nike Just Do It and working in the smithy of my soul like I ought to.I can also imagine unplugging, or at least creating strict guidelines for bad habits that have snuck in to choke my creative being like so much hypnotic kudzu Wait Did I just say imagine What an amateur pledge that was. I like to have a writing book around to dip into when I get stuck or frustrated or just to keep me going This one started out with some interesting ideas, but it ended up not being very supportive A little bullying, in fact Toward the end, it s a lot of religious pronouncements and philosophy that I didn t agree with or find very helpful It felt a bit rigid. I dig it There are a lot of negative reviews of it on Goodreads, mostly about it being derivative, and or unnecessarily characterizing the creative process as a struggle Guys you picked up a self help book You picked up a book called The War of Art If you hoped for originality, or a touchy feely art is easy book, you made a strange decision I m just saying.Personally, I found this book pretty useful It s dense, wise, and low bullshit Spiritual, yes Namby pamby, no It treats inspiration as a mystery because, um, it is It does not treat art as a mystery It says, you can t manufacture inspiration, so get your butt in the chair, every day, and do the work so inspiration has the opportunity to come.I m intrigued by his idea that the difference between a professional artist and an amateur is that the professional artist loves the art enough to arrange her his life to allow him her to do it full time An amateur, he says, isn t someone who does it only for the love if the amateur really loved the art s he wouldn t be content to be a weekend warrior An amateur identifies with the work I make sandwiches for a living, and I m an artist , whereas a professional does the work for its own sake I m a person who writes novels for a living He also does this Jungian analysis of where art comes from and where internal resistance comes from I m sure it s not earthshattering, but I d never heard it before. The most important thing about art is to work Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and tryingSteven Pressfield The War of Art Break Through the Blocks Win Your Inner Creative BattlesReading this book was like a slap in the face to me I AM a director and a writer I struggle often to find my identity in my written words.We all of us artists writers, directors, painters, photographers, dancers, musicians have faced all the serious struggles that comes with being an artist We have to face the inner terror in order to get to where we want to go in our art Pressfield shows us we need to face our fears and not let those fears overtake us not give into the resistance Fear infects our creativity and prevents us from extracting the creative forces we need to create Most importantly, as artists, we must be open to rejections, judgments and failures All artists, even those that are best known to us, have experienced rejection Use these rejections as motivation to improve your talents and skills and inspire you to love and embrace your craft even.Pressfield devotes much of The War of Art to God, the Universe, Consciousness, Angels and Spirit Guides I love this approach of viewing himself as a channel for the Muse Pressfield says a prayer to the Muse every morning before he begins his writing You don t have to believe this approach to get something out of his book But what you will learn is to fight for your art to fight for yourself. This book is lightweight, derivative crap, written in the style of a self hating self help guru with blame the victim issues eighteen ways from Sunday I tore out the two good pages, one of which was a quotation from W.H Murray and the other of which quoted King Leonidas, and burned the book in the fireplace That s how angry it made me Horrible waste of paper and time Really, you want details Okay The author personifies Resistance and then writes a tiny little snippet about it, one per page, stretching a teaspoonful of insight out for seventy pages or so Sure, we come up against resistance in every area of our lives This isn t news to anyone But the ways he personifies it contradict each other, or simply don t make any sense, or come across as pure page filling psychobabble Worst of all, he manages to blame the reader for everything You feel resistance because it s easier If you don t feel it, you re going the wrong way If you don t feel it, you re making a step down in life Sex is resistance Food is resistance Exercise is resistance Everything good is resistance Unless it isn t Save yourself some pain and brain cells and avoid this book It s condescending incoherent nonsense argued on the level of a Sunday school comic strip I wish I could give it less than one star. |FREE E-PUB ♥ The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles ♓ Internationally Bestselling Author Of Last Of The S, Gates Of Fire, And Tides Of War, Steven Pressfield Delivers A Guide To Inspire And Support Those Who Struggle To Express Their Creativity Pressfield Believes That Resistance Is The Greatest Enemy, And He Offers Many Unique And Helpful Ways To Overcome It I read this book over and over again as necessary It is the kick in the ass every artist needs, sometimes daily Because we all face the same enemy, fight the same battle every day Resistance According to Pressman, this is the whole story Every day you either win or lose your battle with resistance All the rest is talk Why you lost it doesn t matter Maybe your mother didn t love you enough Maybe you don t believe in yourself enough Maybe you think you re not as talented as you wish you were Well, so what No one s mother loved them enough, all of us suffer from self doubt If you don t, you re a sociopath and I don t want to know you , and even Shakespeare wrote about Desiring this man s art, and that man s scope If Shakespeare sometimes thought he wasn t good enough, I think that lets the rest of us off the hook The only answer is to get up every day and do your work to the best of your ability That s all anyone does I just watched a snippet of a video interview with the painter Chuck Close who said you don t need most of what you learn in grad school ever again You need only three things to know where to find the information you need, to develop good work habits, and to acquire the thickest skin possible and be able to listen to and ignore the most painful criticism imaginable You have to be able to defend your own position and criticize others as harshly as they criticize you And then just go ahead and do your own work Great book I recommend this than any other book I ve ever read. What a pretentious piece of ridiculous crap It has Harmful, uninformed medical opinions Why It s a book on creativity Just NO Bizarre and illogical assessments of historical figures COMPLETELY FAKE STATISTICS How did those even survive editing You can t make figures up to back your outrageous opinions You need real sources They should be cited This is the fastest way to enrage a librarian Constant judgment as if I can t get enough of that in small town Missouri So much repetition I want to poke my eyes out because I m not an idiot and got it the first 50 times you said it And an exhausting, superior, egotistical attitude I can t believe I wasted money on such a terrible book It can go straight to hell, where I m sure creative folk are being forced to read it for eternity which is about the best argument I ve ever heard for salvation And yes, that s officially the meanest thing I ve ever said about any book, ever, and I don t regret it This book earned my disdain, and I d like to save the rest of you from a terrible reading experience Typically, I avoid posting one star ratings and reviews, but since this is parading about calling itself nonfiction, I have to interject to say it s nothing than a bizarre and often offensive opinion piece, full of some very obvious statements about creativity Don t read this drivel, unless you just enjoy judgmental, condescending monologues that go nowhere If you want an interesting, thoughtful book on writing and creativity, try Stephen King s ON WRITING.UPDATE 5 16 2018 I just recently read Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, which is also good Pages 190 An early chapter just grabbed me with this opening line, Most of us have two lives The life we live, and the unlived life within us Between the two stands Resistance Those sentences grabbed me and have stayed with me How much do I resist How do I resist Why do I resist The reflection that chapter inspired was well worth reading the rest of the book though nothing else was as revolutionary for me I got what I needed early in the pages There s also a fabulous quote from WH Murray later, The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too It reminded me of why I like to operate from passion That the things that I am doing because I feel I must or out of obligation are never easy The things that I do from passion always spin out with dizzying force When you act from passion, providence indeed moves A timely reminder.