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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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There is a reason this book is required reading in many military colleges, but it's applications and relevance for succeeding in many areas of life should make it required reading for anyone wanting a truly classical education.
I think this is a great book, once you've underlined/highlighted key parts, to take out when that Resistance comes to try to talk you in to staying away from what you were put here to do and must do if you're going to be a happy person.
A great book to give away to others too. I've already talked about ti and recommended it to a few people, and I've only just finished it.
Pressfield targets intangible but ever-present "Resistance" as the key element that threatens to cripple any creative endeavor at every stage of the process, most notably and fiercely near its completion. It's not a "magic pill" type book, not flawless, and you'll likely not agree on everything discussed; but you will find far more points that hit home than you discard, as if Steven were right there pointing his finger in your face. Not condescendingly, but more like a leaf blower aimed your direction blasting away the cobwebs of inertia.
My biggest gripe (and inversely biggest compliment) is that it's too quick a read. I could not put it down and plowed through the Kindle version of this book, a few hours just before bed, finishing it before noon the next day. That it held my attention with such conviction is a testament to the author's honest and straightforward message. The chapters are brief, and some are just silly short. The near 200 pages is far, far less in word count than you'd think; but the points being driven home only required the few choice words. Luckily, this book is very re-readable and I'm sure will be referenced often in the future for a kick in the rear anytime the "Resistance" has me on the ropes.
A must-read for anyone with a trapped creative voice or calling beckoning to be freed.