The War of Art

bySteven Pressfield
Rating 6.5 /10 Readability
Read Time 5 hrs Readible On
Published: 2002Read: May 25, 2016Pages: 192
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by Juvoni Beckford@juvoni

The War of Art is a war against resistance. Resistance comes from within, it's you sabotaging yourself from getting the work done. It's you holding your creativity hostage from the world. There are a number of activities that bring about resistance, but most fall under rejecting immediate gratification. Steven Pressfield is writing his declaration of war against the things that prevent him from creating art; it's a personal book.

He goes on to make a number of other declarations, some spark inspiration, some bring about looks of confusion and aversion to the book. Pressfield writes about destiny, saying you were born to do one thing, find it. Your gifts are inspired by some higher force.

There were parts of the book I enjoyed like Identifying resistance and the difference between an Amateur and a Professional, a professional shows up consistently and gets the job done. They create an environment around their craft and self-validate their own work.

Towards the middle and the end of the book begins to unravel for me as he gets into divinity and contradicts himself on craftsmanship vs passion.

Motivations to Read

I've had numerous on and off battles trying to write more consistently. Drawing has been a long-time passion of mine, but I've seemed to have drifted away and I feel a void. I want to create more, but I seem to be creating too many barriers for myself. The term is resistance, which this book talks about. As a long time listener of the Tim Ferriss Podcast, and a fan of Seth Goodin, both who praised this book, I had plenty of reasons to check this book out.

3 Reasons to Read

  • Identify, defeat, and unlock the inner barriers to creativity.
  • You have trouble writing and or creating on a consistent basis or when you need to.
  • Overcome resistance, the inner battle you have with yourself.

Notable Quotes

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?" chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” Steven Pressfield

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” Steven Pressfield

“Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” Steven Pressfield

“The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.” Steven Pressfield

“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.” Steven Pressfield

Notes for this book are still being transcribed.
Follow @juvoni for more info. Send me your hidden gem book recommendations.
posted August 25, 2016

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