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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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A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. hat keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavorâbe it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identif ies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself. Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life.
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The longer he wages his imaginary holy war against the evil Resistance force, the more it reads like snake-oil advice from feel good self-help books. Would I consider the very act of seeking help from and reading this book a form of Resistance? Absolutely, because I feel very happy and liberating deleting it from my kindle after reading a third way through. I can't stomach sticking til the end where there are even more religious nuttiness as warned in the forewords and many reviews.
On the upside, at least Pressfield successfully helps me overcome one form of Resistance.
The author tries very hard to be zany, using crude language and violent metaphors. I suppose to some he might sound cool, but to me he comes off as a "hip" Ned Flanders.
At one point in the book he makes this gem of a statement:
"Attention Deficit Disorder, Seasonal Affect Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder. These aren't diseases, they're marketing ploys. Doctors didn't discover them, copywriters did. Marketing departments did. Drug companies did. Depression and anxiety may be real. But they can also be Resistance"
I understand his point. People will rationalize their lackluster performance by blaming dysfunction, circumstance or whatever's convenient, thus having an excuse to keep underperforming. But his wholesale dismissal of these problems is uninformed, unsubstantiated and to me, very offensive.
Last but not least, this book is very short at ~160 pages, which is fine, but there's only enough material in it to fill a book half that size! The book is comprised of "chapters" most often ranging between 1-5 pages. The end result is that many pages are filled only halfway, and some of them contain as little as 3-5 lines of text.
Admittedly, I did not finish the book, I put it down about halfway through. I've already wasted money on this piece of utter trash, I'm going to cut my losses and not waste any more time. I suggest you do the same. Do not buy this book.