Book Review: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield


warofart“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.” – Steven Pressfield.

Wow, this quote says so much, and it is only one amongst many in this wonderful read! If it speaks to you, then I believe you will be completely intrigued by Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.  Pressfield is a best-selling author whose debut novel, The Legend Of Bagger Vance, was made into a movie starring Matt Damon and Will Smith.

Pressfield believes that most of us do not accomplish the things we set out to do because of some sort of  “resistance,” the forms of which he details in his book. Pressfield has been there, he has struggled and fought the battles that creative people fight on a daily basis and he has won, or, as he might say, he is simply still fighting!  Although Pressfield is a writer by trade, his instructions on overcoming “resistance” cross the boundaries of creative ventures that lie far outside his own. His message is more than relative to artists, performers, musicians and the like.  I identified with so many elements of this book that it often felt as if I were staring in the mirror.

How does the dreamer become the doer? What takes place on a daily basis to get someone to cross that boundary between being a person who dreams of what they’d like to do, and actually doing it? What is the difference between the amateur and the professional? Pressfield takes these questions even further. What if you are already doing what you love, but you’ve reached a creative block? What then??

Is it evident that I love this book?  I hope so. I enjoyed the insights that Pressfield shares and how he shares his approach to creativity.  I found the book inspiring and well written, an approach that artists can identify with, and can apply to their own lives. Do not miss this one folks!

When, (not if) you read The War of Art, please be sure to post your thoughts in the comment section below!



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