The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is for anyone who wants to “identify, defeat and unlock the inner barriers to creativity.” The main topic is Resistance, which is anything that keeps you from doing the work.
There are three sections to this book:
- Book One: Resistance: Defining the Enemy,
- Book Two: Combating Resistance: Turning Pro, and
- Book Three: Beyond Resistance: The Higher Realm.
I didn’t like the last section of the book, which talks alot about Greek mythology and the Muse. I didn’t find the last part of the book as practical or underline-worthy as the first two section.
The War of Art was published in 2002 but I find the content timeless.
There is some swearing in the book.
It’s really hard to pick a favourite quote from this book, so I picked a few:
Everyone who has a body experiences Resistance.
The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.
The more Resistance you experience, the more important your unmanifested art/ project/ enterprise is to you – and the more gratification you will feel when you finally do it.
Listen to Steven Pressfield
I recently listened to an Accidental Creative podcast which replayed an interview with Steven Pressfield by Todd Henry (author of The Accidental Creative and Die Empty).
“In this interview from 2007, I asked Steven how he approaches the creative process and if he has any advice for work-a-day creatives.”
If you like this book, try:
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Read my review of The Artist’s Way
- The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. Read my review of The Creative Habit
I give The War of Art a 5/5 rating because I am going through it for the third or fourth time and know I will come back to it again (even if I don’t like the last section).
If you liked The War of Art book review, read all my creative book reviews.
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I own this book and of course, the opinions are my own. Affiliate links used wherever possible, which means that at no additional cost to you I make a small commission if you make a purchase.