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The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles Paperback – January 11, 2012
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Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
More About the Author
His debut novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was adapted for 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 he was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in 1943. Since graduating from Duke University in 1965, he has been a U.S. Marine, an advertising copywriter, schoolteacher, tractor-trailer driver, bartender, oilfield roustabout, attendant in a mental hospital and screenwriter.
His struggles to earn a living as a writer (it took seventeen years to get the first paycheck) are detailed in The War of Art, Turning Pro and The Authentic Swing.
There's a recurring character in his books, named Telamon, a mercenary of ancient days. Telamon doesn't say much. He rarely gets hurt or wounded. And he never seems to age. His view of the profession of arms is a lot like Pressfield's conception of art and the artist:
"It is one thing to study war, and another to live the warrior's life."
Top Customer Reviews
Steve Pressfield's magnificent little book The War of Art is about being more creative - but more important, it's also about fulfilling your potential as a human being. To do this, he says, you must overcome Resistance (the "R" is capitalized be Pressfield to represent the fact that it is a very real entity - as real to your authentic Self as Charles Manson or Genghis Khan were to their victims).
The whole aim of Resistance, says Pressfield (who is the bestselling author of The Legend of Bagger Vance and Gates of Fire), is to prevent you from doing the work you are called to do. Resistance wants you to take it easy, to be ordinary and mediocre, to take the low road. Resistance is the reason so many people place a basket over the brilliant candle that shines within them. The fight against Resistance is, Pressfield says, a war to the death.
Pressfield disputes the standard motivational cliché that you can have, do, or be anything if you follow the right formula and just work hard enough. Rather, he says: "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 are two occasions when Resistance will be the most relentless, and they are related. The first is when something really matters to you.Read more ›
The War of Art is a real-world extension of Bagger Vance, the Jonathan Livingston Seagull of the `90's. Pressfield's presentation draws comparison to many statements that have floated around in my head over the years. JLS said "You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self here and now." In the second edition of the Star War series (in the late `70's?) Yoda tells Luke Skywalker, "There is no try." Either do it or don't do it. The War of Art makes a strong case for both of these concepts.
I was a fighter pilot for nearly 10 years, edited and published a newspaper for two, and entered the battlefield of corporate America two decades ago. As I concluded Pressfield's book, I was overwhelmed with the bittersweet feeling that I truly wished I had read this book when I was 20, not 52. Only having read one or two randomly selected pages when I got the book, I emailed by 20-year-old son in New Hampshire and made it "mandatory reading." He called me within 48 hours, and I couldn't fail to see the impression The War of Art had made on him. "Dad," he said, "For the first time in my life, I can see all the time I've wasted ...." The impact was as real as it was profound.
I read once that "the only thing in the middle of the road is yellow stripes and dead armadillos.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Most everyone has that friend who likes to play practical jokes. And even though he can be a general pain, you've seen his tender side and you know he can be more sensitive than... Read morePublished 6 hours ago by Ms. M
If you have ever struggled with writers block or some other type of artistic obstacle...this book is for you.Published 23 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Great beginning muddled by ignorance, lies, and lack of research into his assumptions about psychological disorders and terrorism. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Jarin Jove
This book is so inspiring and thought provoking! I encourage anyone with a dream to read this book again and again.Published 1 day ago by Rebekah.Webster@gatech.edu
The book basically personalizes and romanticizes procrastination. Pure ramblings. I deeply regret getting tricked into spending money on this.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
It's spectacular reading. Intriguing perspective on handling the negative issues of life and learning how to turn them around to work in your favor.Published 2 days ago by david w. leiter
I had been staring at the blank page and canvas for too long because my ego got in the way. Steven Pressfield allowed me to detach, turn up each day and do the work whilst waiting... Read morePublished 2 days ago by ray lothian