Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Book Notes: "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative BattlesThe War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I've had this book on the shelf for nearly three years but decided to read it after reading Do the Work. I have been procrastinating by reading about ways to stop procrastinating, but since starting this book, I am now 6,000 words down and off and running. TO keep the momentum going, I have Turning Pro on the way, too. Usually when I read modern self-help books, the authors are either overtly atheist or overtly Christian. Each to his own, and while it is always possible to absorb some insights or (at least be exposed to) wisdom from books, I find it difficult to identify with the author when their approaches differ markedly from mine. Not so with Pressfield. There was one part where I felt like I had bought the same book twice (many parts of Do the Work are more or less replicated here, but the overall experience was quite different. As a handy reference to flick to for inspiration when stuck, the Tom Peters-esque format suits this function well. It is interesting how, once you name something (Resistance), and label it as the enemy, one's subconscious takes over the battle. I find my subconscious rising up with words such as "That's Resistance, that's the enemy. Do the work!" And my obsessive compulsiveness is having a field day. Whenever I go to leave something (the washing up, putting something in the drier, changing the chook's water, you name it - oh, better change the chook's water straight after this), my subconscious says "Do it now!" Of course, when I wake tomorrow, I will have to go to war again, but Pressfield has made available to me Somerset Maugham's approach: "I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp". Better change the chook's water now.



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