The War of Art Book By Steven Pressfield [Online Reading, Summary, Review, Book, Download, PDF]

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles is a 2002 nonfiction book written by American author Steven Pressfield. The book highlights the forms of resistance faced by artists, entrepreneurs, athletes and others who are trying to break creative barriers. The book has a follow-up titled Do The Work.

Steven Pressfield, internationally sold author of Last of the Amazons, Gates of Fire and Tides of War, offers a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity. Pressfield believes that "resistance" is the greatest enemy, and offers many unique and useful ways to overcome it.

Book Club Questions

Sometimes you find a book, but you are not prepared for it. "The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles" has been on my list for a few years, but I didn't retake it until recently. It was the right time for me and maybe it is for you too. Author, Steven Pressfield's words and thoughts could be the spark to propel him forward.

Despite the title, this is not a book only for traditional artists. Pressfield is also writing for entrepreneurs, people who want to change careers and even people who want to start living healthier. I have heard that many people claim that they are not creative. He also mentions this, and we both think it's ridiculous. Don't let the title stop you. We are all artists and creators of our own lives.

Whatever your effort, you have probably noticed that it can be difficult to start or maintain. That is the war to which the title refers: the daily battle to make your art. Ideally, you appear, put the work and then do it again the next day. What derails us is what Pressfield calls "resistance." This is the enemy and is insidious, dominant and powerful. Pressfield dedicates the first third of his book to describe the many forms and tactics of Resistance, and will immediately recognize how he plays in his own life.

Pressfield's writing is straightforward and sincere. He will make you laugh and make you angry. You will have to stop and leave the book at least once, to reflect on something apparently written just for you or to catch your breath because he exposed something about you that you have been denying.

Because the content is so deep and powerful, the "Art War" format helps. Divided into three parts, each chapter is ultra-short and each sentence counts. Book one defines resistance. Book Two is about "becoming professional." This means that now that you have identified the Resistance and recognized how it works against you, it is time to fight it.

Book Three takes a step further, towards "the upper realm", where the muses and divine inspiration live. For Pressfield, the source of our art comes from outside of us. This will not attract everyone. Even the man who wrote the forward said he did not agree: he believes that internal talent must exist first before it can be inspired. Either way, there is something to say to invoke, recognize and accept the ideas that arise in dreams, on walks or in the shower. Open and relaxed minds make more connections and create ideas and stories seemingly out of nowhere.

He did not expect Pressfield to dedicate much of "The war of art" to God, the universe, conscience, angels, and guides. Maybe I have a preconceived idea about former Marine Hollywood screenwriters, pity me. Pressfield says a prayer to the muse every morning before he starts writing. You don't have to believe what he believes to get something out of his book. If you are curious, if you feel a push towards something in this review, if you have a dream or an unlived life, read it. Fight for your art.

About The Author
Steven Pressfield is the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazon, Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign, Killing Rommel, The Profession, The Lion's Gate, The War of Art, Turning Pro , Do the Work, The Warrior Ethos, The Authentic Swing, An American Jew, Nobody wants to read your Sh * t, The Knowledge and The Artist's Journey.

His debut novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was adapted for the screen. A film of the same title was released in 2000, directed by Robert Redford and starring Matt Damon, Will Smith, and Charlize Theron.

His father was in the Navy and was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943. Since graduating from Duke University in 1965, he has been an American marine, copywriter, school teacher, tractor-trailer driver, barman, Roustabout oil field, an assistant in a psychiatric hospital and screenwriter.

His struggles to make a living as a writer (it took him seventeen years to get the first paycheck) are detailed in The War of Art, Turning Pro, The Authentic Swing, Nobody Wants to Read His Shit, and The Knowledge.

There is a recurring character in his books, called Telamon, a mercenary of antiquity. Telamon does not say much. It is rarely injured or injured. And he never seems to grow old. His vision of the arms profession closely resembles the conception of art and the Pressfield artist:

"It's one thing to study war and another is to live the warrior's life."