Fighting the War of Art

WarOfArt-lrI’ve been meaning to read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield for a few years. It has been recommended on a few Recommended Reading lists that I’ve come across. But I wasn’t sure that I wanted to buy it, so looked for it at the library. My library didn’t carry it, so I’d forget about the book until I came across it in another recommended reading list.

My library finally acquired it and I got it into my greedy little hands this week. And I finished reading it the day I took it out.

It’s an easy read.

And within reading the first couple of pages, I knew that I would be buying this book so that I could have a copy for future reference whenever it was needed. I can see why it is recommended so much.

Basically, it chronicles the struggle between creating something and all the things that get in the way to prevent that creation. Most of us call it “procrastination”, but Pressfield calls it “resistance”. Anyone who has sat down to write has experienced the siren call of the TV, Internet, dishes or laundry. It is that resistance that prevents us from creating our Art.

And Art is loosely defined. Any goal, any endeavour, any enterprise is susceptible to “resistance”. The job of the artist or entrepreneur or person pursuing a health goal is to find ways to overcome the resistance to “not” do the thing you want to do. And it is a battle that must be fought every day until the goal is achieved.

The book is divided into three parts: Book One – Resistance: Defining the Enemy; Book Two – Combating Resistance: Turning Pro; and Book Three – Beyond Resistance: The Higher Realm. Each part can be consumed quickly or savoured slowly, depending on your state of mind.

The whole book is only 163 pages, but by the end of it, I felt ready to attack my next project. It could have helped me be more focused on my previous rewrite because I definitely was a victim of “resistance” on that one!

I heartily recommend this book to anyone. It will help you get out of the frame of mind of “someday I should…” to the state of mind of “today, I’m going to…”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must prepare for battle… I have a rewrite to complete.

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