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The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
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Product Description


dream about writing the Great American Novel?

regret not finishing your paintings, poems, or screenplays?

want to start a business or charity?

wish you could start dieting or exercising today?

hope to run a marathon someday?

If "yes," then you need?THE WAR OF ART

Now, in this powerful, straight-from-the-hip examination of the internal obstacles to success, bestselling author Steven Pressfield shows readers how to identify, defeat, and unlock the inner barriers to creativity. THE WAR OF ART is an inspirational, funny, well-aimed kick in the pants guaranteed to galvanize every would-be artist, visionary, or entrepreneur.

Steven Pressfield enjoys great international success as a bestselling novelist. But in order to reach the top he had to do a lot of work to fight the inner demons that told him he couldn?t make it. THE WAR OF ART is his challenge to creative block, and his succinct, straight-from-the-hip style will help every reader unleash their personal ambitions, be they literary, artistic, or business-minded.

According to Pressfield, the internal obstacle to success is Resistance. Resistance is the difference between the life you lead and the life you want to lead, and can take many forms. Pressfield shows readers how to identify and defeat Resistance at every turn and challenges them to change their amateurish, unsuccessful habits into a professional attitude that can get the job done. Finally, Sun Tzu for the soul!

Inspirational, funny, and a great kick in the pants, THE WAR OF ART is the perfect book for anybody who had a goal circumvented by life and circumstance: which is to say, you and everybody you?ve ever met.

Customer Reviews:

  • Best Book Ever on Dealing With Resistance
    Resistance is real. It plagues everyone. We all have dreams we want to pursue but don't. We fear failure. We live in Ego. Writers, artists, and other creatives of any stripe are particularly prone to debilitating procrastination.

    I think that Pressfield's book is the best I've seen on dealing with this reality. I've read a myriad of books (albeit I admit it sadly because I should have been creating instead of reading) on writer's block and dealing with fear.

    The War of Art is simply the best book I've read to refresh the warrior spirit and enable me to fight back. I go back to it again and again. His advice resonates strongly within me. When he says "the warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity which dictates that the battle must be fought anew each day", it reminds me to take a deep breath, push Ego away, and bring my focus and effort back again to do what I really want to do. I have that quote on a white board in my office because that is the core of what we face to keep creating no matter what.

    Terrific book. My book is stained and tattered because of its power to revive. I can't recommend it strongly enough. ...more info
  • Simple, easy, to the point, tough
    When you want to do something in your life you can go two ways: 1) Resist it (in many ways - from procrastination to drug abuse problem). 2) Get together and do it. Steven Pressfield teaches you that it's important to overcome the first (easiest and deadliest)option, and go the right way - TO DO IT. He gives the plan for action. He gets to the core. He makes you understand it. And if you follow the advice the author gives, you are on the right track. He teaches you to take responsibility. So you know. When you're afraid and give up on your dream - you take responsibility for your misery. But when you're afraid and still go after your dream - you take responsibility for making your life better....more info
  • No Excuses!!!
    Here's a great book for all reluctant artists and writers to keep in a handy place for a quick re-read whenever you start with the list of "why I can't..........." (fill in the blank). Mr. Steven Pressfield in his "the WAR of ART" grabs us by the scruff of the neck and gives us a good shaking like a mama cat with a kitten. I didn't, somehow, like his writing but he conveys his subject matter so well that it was hard to put the book down (plus it made me squirm). I keep my copy tucked in with the dictionaries and thesaruses for whenever I feel myself waivering from the task at hand. Open it to any page and Mr.Pressfeld will have some version of "shut up with your excuses already and get to work". A great gift for anyone who says "I would really like to......."(fill in the blank). Highly recommended!...more info
  • The perfect kick in the pants
    This book is amazing. It's very brief, but the type of book that's so packed with wisdom that you'll re-read it multiple times. Whether you're blocked, can't start, in a rut, whatever - this book will kick start your spirit. Highly recommended....more info
  • Great quick read and relivant to everyone...
    I would highly suggest this book for any artists or entrepreneurs out there, it's an easy and quick read, no reason to pass this book up if you're thinking about getting it......more info
  • Really insightful. Helps to highlight passages and review often to keep you motivated
    Really puts the perspective of Procrastination into a new light.
    In fact I am avoiding stuff right now by writing this review. So I stop here to go and take care of my Art projects.

    Toodles....more info
  • Love this book!
    This book is brilliant. One of the best books I've read in years. If you find yourself struggling with any kind of creative block, or with the fear that comes from starting a new business venture, you should read "The War of Art." It will give you the fortitude to keep moving toward your goal....more info
  • This read was a surprise with an exception
    Filled with lots of truths and no fluff, a fast (2 hour) read. Very informative about the subject of resistance. The main message is-do your art.
    There is one part I didn't agree with, suggesting that cancer patients are responsible for their own illness. There is no science included to back up this theory, so the author goes out on a big limb here.
    I know some people have survived cancer, but their alive to talk about it. Dead people are not around to talk ...... about how they loved their life, were living to their fullest, were at peace and loved doing their art. We all are going to die of something eventually, so can we do this without the blame?...more info
  • The War within you!
    After having read the book with an open mind and the hope of gaining an insight into a perspective that is unlike mine I find myself moved to action, poised to leap at the possibilities ahead. I never anticipated being inspired by an artist. It?s not that I have anything against artists but to this point in my life and career I have not expressed the artist side of me very often. I have come to realize that in order to properly maximize my gifts I must tap into all aspects of who I am, those I am not aware of, as well as those of which I might even be a little afraid.
    Steven Pressfield is clearly qualified to write about releasing the artist within. He has experienced the highs and most definitely the lows of being an artist. Although he speaks mostly of the art of writing, his writing style and stories he shares made it easy to relate his lessons to the artist I can be. Being a man who is rarely at a loss for words, I find it frustrating that words don?t seem to express the excitement I feel about the journey ahead, and the drive for which has been invigorated by Pressfield?s writing.
    Pressfield, through his writing, pushes the aspiring artist to force their way through the thicket, what he calls resistance, into the clearing. He explains that he too experienced the difficulties of creating, but that persistence will win the day. Any endeavor has its obstacles, the key is to actually sit and do the work, metaphorically speaking. He explains that the hardest part of any creation is the getting started, the first moments of creation, the moment of overcoming resistance.
    Of the lessons I took from the reading there are a few highlights that must be mentioned. Not the least of the lessons I discovered on page 34, where the statement is made that one must attain a certain level of affluence (not necessarily monetary) and comfort before a person is capable of true self-examination. I took this to mean that the individual must be substantially free of excessive pressure and have gotten to a level of experience and ?knowledge? to be able to look at themselves with a critically healthy eye. Premature self-appraisal is dangerous, but with a properly seasoned and positioned individual, self-appraisal can be cathartic and enlightening. Maslow?s concept of self-actualization leads to several questions of when and how to attain such a level, but I am confident that because of the nature of individual learning the journey to self-actualization endures as long as the heart beat of the individual. The level necessary to self-examine is not so demanding but is considerable none the less. This concept struck home with me because during my journey to receive my Masters Degree I completed a 360a evaluation of myself which required me to self-examine using the responses from others. This experience tested my humility and made me look inward at the part I play in the events of my life.
    Another substantial excerpt from the text was found on page 39 where Pressfield speaks of the counterfeit innovator who is inappropriately self-confident and that the real innovator is ?scared to death?. I can think of several individuals I have met who are over the top with confidence and in the end were merely projecting a false image to avoid having to prove themselves. This lesson is yet another example to the reader to remain humble and within their real capabilities.
    The next lesson from the reading is particularly vexing because I am not only happy in my career but also very secure. The statement ?The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.? rocks me to the foundation because I am filled with fear embarking on my diversity quest but I am over filled with the desire and drive to do it. I fear that the drive is irresistible and that threatens the security I hold so dear.
    In the further reading I found a statement on page 68 that spoke directly to my current profession as a law enforcement officer. The statement ?He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation? can be directly applied to my industry because there is an unexplainable insistence on sustaining the ?macho? image and gracefully allowing diversity concepts to consume them is not in the cards. As I bring the messages and lessons of diversity to the law enforcement community I know I will face opposition, most certainly ridicule, and I?m sure at times humiliation. As for the non-law enforcement audience I hope to address and educate I will likely find some who would treat me to the same reception but hopefully less straight forward tactics.
    On the very next page I found an interesting position Pressfield takes on being a professional at what we do. He claims that a ?pro?, as he puts it, does not over-identify with their job. I find that a little hard to agree with because some professions are not just jobs. In order to be very good at some jobs you must live them at all times. I would even challenge that ?artists? identify greatly with being artists in that they live a certain life style, in certain geographic areas of cities and the country, and even base some of their moral positions on being ?artists?. More closely to my realm of experience as a policeman, the vigilance required of a police officer cannot be put into the officer?s locker at the station and left there until the next shift. A police officer somewhere along the line becomes aware of the potential for danger every situation presents through their experiences. This is somewhat sad but a fact none the less and does not mean the individual is not a professional.
    Where this also speaks to me is in the indication that the amateur is fearful of action. I am afraid to commit and take those first steps in the transition.
    On page 88 Pressfield tells of the composer who even while creating one piece of music is at the very same moment composing the next. When thinking about my hopes for my diversity quest I find so many thoughts rushing through my head that I can barely contain them. I become assaulted by such a flurry of inspirations that I cannot quickly enough put them to paper; I have been force to record some digitally.
    ?It is better to be in the arena being stomped by the bull than in the stands or out in the parking lot.? Pressfield says it well here that there is no victory for those who never join the battle. I am by nature a cautious man who takes very few uncalculated risks. This statement urges me to push myself forward into the unknown and let whatever will happen, in fact, happen.
    There is a sentence on page 92 that, in summary, says that we are only upset by the things we allow ourselves to be upset by. I once read about the technique of making ?I? statements when having an argument or telling someone else how you feel. These two statements seem to mesh well in that during an argument we are usually angered by those things another person says or does, when in fact we are really allowing ourselves to become upset at the rudeness, or insensitivity of others. If we did not take the behaviors of others to heart we would not become upset.

    Before beginning this book I first thought the title was more literal. I expected to read a book about artist and their struggle to gain respect among some group that seem to discount them. After reading the book I now understand the title to more pointedly mean the war within the self to create and perform the art in its many forms.
    As I first started the text I felt as though I was reading something that I would never be able to apply to myself and my goals and hopes for the future. I could not have been much more off base. The messages within can be applied to nearly any profession or calling one receives. The struggles Pressfield details are the struggles of every one who has ever chased a dream, took the leap, or dove in head first, to make their future happen.
    When I first started the sections where resistance is introduced I struggled to shape my mind around what he was trying to say and the way in which he was saying it. The concept somehow eluded me but as I read further he used the term repeatedly and with varying examples. Eventually, the idea became clear and I began to be able to identify resistance in my own life.
    After learning the lessons of this book I have resigned myself to the fact that I have to stop waiting for things to happen. I want good things and not only for my own sake but for the betterment of the world around and I have to stop thinking opportunity will come to me. I have to start flooding my life with knowledge and experience in the things I find empowering and take action to make my dreams come to life.
    I have already provided the title of this text to several friends, one of my superiors, and others on a similar quest. I would recommend it to every aspiring entrepreneur, anyone with a dream for their life, and anyone whom I would like to see succeed in life.
    ...more info
  • Highly Motivating
    Real good book that puts things into a new perspective regarding work ethic, and the creative process. I've got tags on so many pages, it's great to look back at them from time to time, for inspiration....more info
  • The War Of Art
    Easy to read, beautiful descriptive passages.
    I passed it on to my son, a musician. It is beneficial to anyone....more info
  • The war of Art
    Lot's of good information. It applies to all aspects of life. I bought one for my mother and one for my son....more info
  • Focus
    This books explained that I am not alone in my struggle to stay in the creative life. Very helpful....more info
  • Amazing book!!
    The best book I've ever read about overcoming procrastination and the inner workings of the creative process. It's just awesome.
    I recommend it to every creative person that I know....more info
  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Y...
    This was an excellent book. Puts into perspective the war and battle we rage within ourselves and work environments to have "ART" in whatever we profess to do. It was a great book, easy to read, I had a hard time putting the book down. I have recommended it to all of my children; it would benefit them in their chosen careers. Thank you. Kathy Chaney...more info
  • Fantastic inspiration!
    This is a great book, it basically confirmed everything I already thought about the nature of being creative and trying to move into the professional arena with your creative talents. I have already recommended this book to most of my creative friends, whether writers, artists or musicians. It's well written, inspiring and a great way to get your creative energy flowing again if you are feeling blocked. Buy it, you won't regret it! ...more info
  • How to break the mold
    Steven Pressfield has written a little gem of a book on how to overcome the paralyzing fear of failure, primarily for artists and writers, but applicable to anyone who has delayed or abandoned following their dreams. A no-nonsense, stream-of-consciousness style adds to the books' immediacy. A valued addition to my library....more info
  • Best motivation book I own
    This book is the best "motivational" read I've had in a long time, and totally unexpected from the author. If you are afraid of your potential as an artist or simply stuck in some area of your life, Pressfield does not let you off easily, but presents new ways to view obstacles. ...more info
  • Best book I ever seen heard or read
    Awsome book.

    The best book I have ever read.

    Do yourself a favor and buy the audio book online.
    It is available for mp3 download.
    Pressfield, the author narrates this book, it is great.

    ...more info
  • My eyes are still glued to the pages!
    Wow! What a fast-paced, though-provoking work. This book punches and triggers serious thought about the "war" in each of us--and, better yet, ways we can win that war. If Pressfield cannot motivate the artist, creative writer--anyone at all--to put aside demons and proceed to producing sometimes yucky, yet sometimes surprising and valuable, work, nothing can I am a writer and English professor (composition and creative writing, mostly) for art, design and film students. Sometimes, it is challenging to get these types of students excited about reading and responding to the written word, for they are amassed with studio projects that demand incredible energy, thought, time and attention. However, this text seems to have invoked in them that same energy and thought--and effusive response, both in class discussions and a variety of written assignments. Thank you, Steven Pressfield!

    I cannot speak directly for my students, but I can speak directly to my experience in engaging with this text, and it has empowered me in most helpful ways. It's a must-read!...more info
  • How did this guy know my story????
    It's uncanny how accurate this book depicts the life and struggles of a writer and perhaps any artist. Before I became a writer I was a professional actor and it resonated for me in that area as well. It was as if Stephen had a hidden camera in my office while he was writing.

    Except for the solutions he proposes. That and the truths it provides are the best things about this book.

    Here are just a couple of those truths:

    "We are not born with unlimited choices... Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal that we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it."

    "There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.

    On every page, I found things I laughed at and learned from. Pressfield poses the argument that Resistance is the Enemy! Resistance is the name of the thing I didn't even know I was fighting. Resistance is the thing that will force you to crave the very things that keep you from your work: instant gratification, rationalization, and procrastination. If you want to overcome the power of Resistance? Read This Book....more info
  • Great book lots of applications
    Pressfield is a novelist who takes a humorous but tough look at the key challenge in front of anyone embarking on creative production: sitting down to do it. You might have issues with the philosophical underpinnings of his approach. But the sheer practicality of his approach will win anyone over. Certainly anyone who has faced the challenges of the blank canvas or the empty sheet of paper....more info
  • "Mythological," Yet Hardnosed and Practical
    Watch Video Here: The War of Art is draws from a wide variety of sources. It is deeply mythological, even spiritual, yet it has a hard-nosed practicality and on-target advice that anyone can put to use immediately. Highly recommended...more info
  • Bought it. Love it. Recommended it. Read it again.
    I bought a copy and some of the facts were so spot-on it was embarrassing to see my bad habits spelled out like that. I winced and kept reading. Digested it. Read it again. Recommended it to several friends. All have loved it. By "loved it" I mean some of us agonized over parts, some felt uplifted by parts, some went back and checked in again. It's really a workbook that involves art, but then it lays down helpful insights for living life in general. ...more info
  • The best 10 dollars you will ever spend!
    This is really a book about procrastination. I have read a book or two on procrastination and they did not help that much. What is different about this book is the angle he takes. Sometimes you can hear the same thing over & over and then someone comes along and puts it in way that changes everything and it makes perfect sense.
    Pressfield calls it "the resistance"(the things that stop you from completing your true life goals). This book is full of useful nuggets, phrases that you could write down and put on your computer or on the refrigerator. You could spend a fortune on a sports psychologist and not get out of it what you get from this book for 10 bucks. He makes you ANGRY at the resistance. This anger gives you energy.
    He names the enemy,describes it, gives it a face and makes you want to kill it. A little more aggressive approach. This book should not go on a shelf but be kept out and looked at again and again until it ingrained in us. It it a must for a writer, songwriter or any creative occupation. Entrepreneurs to someone who can't face cleaning out their garage would benefit, anyone wanting to improve in any area of life. I could not put this book down. The first 2/3rds are really the useful parts. People are complaining about the last third but if your tore that off it would still be worth it. It is hard in a review to explain this book, but if you want to quit making excuses and need a kick in the butt then get just it....more info
  • Book I've been waiting for
    All I can say is this book moved me to tears right of the gate. Pressfield nailed it. Anyone who's stuck in their creative process should read this book. I read it in one sitting, in less than an hour - devoured it.

    Can't recommend it highly enough. Buy it and read it now!!!...more info
  • Sit Down and GET TO WORK!
    As an artist, I was uplifted hearing the description of a "professional." Over the past year, I have been evolving towards this definition - all I know is, inspiration is divine, it shows in my work [] and the most important thing I do each day is to sit down and do my work.

    Get the book - and get to work!...more info