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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
When I first read this, I checked it out from the library. I ordered a copy from Amazon right away after I finished it because I wanted to have a copy with me always.
Quick, relate-able, surprising, and practical.
Get your art made! If you need a nudge, read this book.
Ultimately I didn't need this book and neither do you if you just get started and stay at it, if your art is already a paid-off clean-title vehicle that you can drive from point A-to-B, this book is just a nitrous tank that will get you there faster and be a handy boost for those times when you need to smash through creative blocks and outrun the negative setbacks long before they can pull you for speeding.
This book has a permanent place next to my computer and I will refer to it time and time again to keep myself moving along my professional path as a writer.
Here is an excerpt which shows how he ties the artist's life to the real world:
"In my younger days dodging the draft, I somehow wound up in the Marine Corps. . . Marines love to be miserable. Marines derive a perverse satisfaction in having colder chow, crappier equipment and higher casualty rates than any outfit of dogfaces, swab jockeys, or flyboys, all of whom they despise. Why? Because these candy-asses don't know how to be miserable.
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.
The artist must be like that Marine. He has to know how to be miserable. He has to love being miserable. He has to take pride in being more miserable than any soldier or swabbie or jet jocky. Because this is war, baby. And war is hell."
I got a huge laugh out of that entire section, because after all my years of writing, I know how much hell it really is, rejection after rejection. It's comforting to know I'm not alone. Read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It's a hoot and a half, with a reverence towards art and a deep respect towards those of us still struggling to produce it.