- Paperback: 190 pages
- Publisher: Black Irish Entertainment LLC; 47716th edition (January 11, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1936891026
- ISBN-13: 978-1936891023
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,719 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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From Publishers Weekly
Novelist Steven Pressfield (The Legend of Bagger Vance; Gates of Fire) goes self-help in The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle. Dubbing itself a cross between Sun-Tzu's The Art of War and Julie Cameron's The Artist's Way, Pressfield's book aims to help readers "overcome Resistance" so that they may achieve "the unlived life within." Whether one wishes to embark on a diet, a program of spiritual advancement or an entrepreneurial venture, it's most often resistance that blocks the way. To kick resistance, Pressfield stresses loving what one does, having patience and acting in the face of fear. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Drawing on his many years' experience as a writer, Pressfield (The Legend of Bagger Vance) presents his first nonfiction work, which aims to inspire other writers, artists, musicians, or anyone else attempting to channel his or her creative energies. The focus is on combating resistance and living the destiny that Pressfield believes is gifted to each person by an all-powerful deity. While certainly of great value to frustrated writers struggling with writer's block, Pressfield's highly personal philosophy, soundly rooted in his own significant life challenges, has merit for anyone frustrated in fulfilling his or her life purpose. Successful photographer Ulrich (photography chair, Art Inst. of Boston; coeditor, The Visualization Manual) explores the creative impulse and presents an approach to developing creativity that, like Pressfield's, will be relevant to artists and others. He identifies and explains seven distinct stages of the creative process: discovery and encounter, passion and commitment, crisis and creative frustration, retreat and withdrawal, epiphany and insight, discipline and completion, and responsibility and release. He also develops his view of the three principles of the creative impulse, which include creative courage, being in the right place at the right time, and deepening connections with others. Rooted in Eastern philosophy, Ulrich's fully developed treatise nicely updates the solid works of Brewster Ghiselin (The Creative Process), Rollo May (The Courage To Create), and Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way). It also supplements Pressfield's inspirational thoughts on overcoming resistance through introspective questions and practical exercises that further elaborate the creative process. Both books are recommended for public libraries needing additional works on creativity. Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
I know this sounds silly and most people probably wont care but it just feels and looks cheap. If you want what the author says, you'll get it.
I havent noticed it so far but the last book i bought that they printed themselves were missing certain letters on a few pages.
I thought the first half was much better than the second. Steven does a great job defining resistance and it's tools of self-sabotage (procrastination, fear, rationalization..).
Reading this book, you quickly get sucked in. It is hard not to feel those emotional twinges as you read about the many faces of your lower brain functions; your resistant mind, and where it dwells; your ego.
Being filled in on the many ways resistance discourages us from pursuing what we are meant to be is eye opening. I challenge anyone to read this book and tell me they cannot relate to most of Steven's definitions of what resistance is. It's a scary thing, and the first step in defeating it, or at least fending it off as it never goes away, is understand what it is, what it does, and why. That is something Steven Pressfield does to a very high caliber.
I have some difficulties when the book goes the religious direction. I know a lot of people could argue saying they are not directly religious propositions, but metaphors of a deeper meaning to things, even your own mind. The point i take is that a person must accept there are parts of your own mind that you don't fully understand or grasp that speaks to you in a different way that you can never control, as it lives and operates differently. That or there is a divine Muse, God, or some incorporeal beings that enjoy creating time via our physical beings for no other reason than love.
Whatever your take on that last part it, this book is eye opening and inspirational. It will help you understand that part of yourself that keeps you from being a success, that prevents you from being who you should be, from following your dreams.
The third part (the spiritual one) is the best part in my opinion. Here is where some gold grains can be found. It contains wisdom and good advices. Although I would use other terms than angels and muses, the artist certainly has to be grateful for the gifts he received from 'Above' and he has to transcend his ego.
I never read one of Pressfield's (real) fiction books, so I can not judge about this man’s real talent. I liked the story of Bagger Vance though (from the film), and to be chosen by the very picky Robert Redford to make a film from your script says something. Also, just like Pressfield I hold a very a high view of the Ancient Greek civilization (not only because I studied philosophy). So I may be tempted to buy one of his fiction stories.