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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is war, and war is hell.
Any tortured artist type who flops about never finishing anything for fear it might actually expose in concrete terms the limitations of their talent will find this a slap in the face, a kick in the ass and a cold shower all at once. Your list of great excuses for why your novel/screenplay/business start up/big-project-of-any-kind remains unfinished (or unstarted) will...
Published on 9 Jan 2011 by Sam Keogh

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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Resistance is Futile
The War of Art (nice title) is based on the premise that there is something called `resistance', which prevents artists or anyone doing anything to better themselves from getting on with the task. Resistance manifests itself in lots of different ways, but ultimately in work not getting done. Split into three parts, each comprised of several pages which are often nothing...
Published on 7 Aug 2011 by M. Duncan


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is war, and war is hell., 9 Jan 2011
Any tortured artist type who flops about never finishing anything for fear it might actually expose in concrete terms the limitations of their talent will find this a slap in the face, a kick in the ass and a cold shower all at once. Your list of great excuses for why your novel/screenplay/business start up/big-project-of-any-kind remains unfinished (or unstarted) will dwindle to one line with a question mark at the end of it. Do you have what it takes or not?

And there's only one way to find out.

The War of Art might be the last diversion you take into doing something that you shouldn't be doing. After you've read it you might actually end up doing what you should be. Or you could put everything off just a little longer by writing a review of it for Amazon.

Hmmm.....
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tactical advice for any would-be artist or writer, 22 Oct 2004
By 
G. Morgan "Milton Drake" (Seattle) - See all my reviews
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This book is superb. Everyone who has ever tried to improve their lives or start a new venture will know that the main problem is not the money or the time; it's the motivation. Deep in our psychology we have a hidden enemy, a devious little voice that tells us not to start or attempt anything because we'll automatically fail or we've got better things to do. This little creep is usually the reason diets fail or books don't get written. Until I read War of Art I just thought I was a procastinator or at best just lazy. But Pressfield has given this enemy a name: Resistance.
Pressfield's book is without a doubt the most intriguing and genuine motivational book out there to date. It's written in plain tongue with no technical rubbish or pen-in-hand techniques that nobody would want to even try. It's staright talk; we've got an enemy, fight it! I couldn't put it down. Read it in a day. By the end of it I felt I could achieve anything and like some weirdo bible thing I have tuned to it since whenever I feel like I want to do something because most of the time I know I won't do what I want without a good push. Steven Pressfield's War of Art is that push. It's the compass that guides you toward success.
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Resistance is Futile, 7 Aug 2011
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The War of Art (nice title) is based on the premise that there is something called `resistance', which prevents artists or anyone doing anything to better themselves from getting on with the task. Resistance manifests itself in lots of different ways, but ultimately in work not getting done. Split into three parts, each comprised of several pages which are often nothing more than a pithy paragraph, The War of Art isn't heavy reading. The first part of the book identifies the problem; the second part of the book identifies the qualities of the professional who does not succumb to the problem. These parts are witty, concise, and quite inspirational. In common with some other reviewers here, I was expecting far more practical advice about how to overcome `resistance'. What War of Art effectively boils down to is an impassioned call to arms from a hotheaded military leader against a ruthless and bloodthirsty enemy. That's well and good, "but what about the tactics?" says the poor grunt about to charge the enemy guns. "Well, there aren't any. Good luck, give `em hell..."

If parts one and two are good as far as they go, the third part of the book jumps off a very high pier. It's largely concerned with the author's loopy religious and philosophical ideas, which, if you didn't know better, would place him somewhere around the early 20th Century, before Freud's ideas found common currency, before World War I made people rethink the idea of progress. Back then, the best explanation for irrational drives in our lives was probably something like bad demons and good angels, which is what the author of The War of Art has settled on as the most likely explanation. To be fair to Pressfield, he does say you can call it what you like; I called it `wishful thinking'. Of course the author is entitled to his beliefs, but since the book begins with a no-nonsense call to arms against irrational beliefs about the artist, you might, like me, look back from page 166 and find yourself a long way from home.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Battling the Ultimate Enemy!, 19 Mar 2012
By 
JD Astill (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (Paperback)
If you have dreams you would love to make a reality but you're no closer to them than you were last year, you are not alone. If you find yourself choosing that chocolate bar over 20 minutes of cardio training, you are standing with the many. If you feel that work, loved ones, hated ones, money troubles, are all getting in the way of where you want to be, welcome to the world of the average person. This book is for you. This book is what you need to hear, and what you need to use to take you from the average to the dream accomplished successful.

What it doesn't do: It doesn't clog you down with self help strategies that you will never stick to. It doesn't pin your hopes on wishful thinking, or lead you to believe that just BELIEVING in something hard enough, the laws of the universe will pull together to make it so. It doesn't suck up to you and tell you what you need to hear.

It tells you the truth. It tells you that, ultimately, success and failure is within you, and that the battle is against yourself. There is an enemy within: a cold, heartless thing with the hunting instincts of a shark. It will eat you from the inside out, and then cast you aside, once you've wasted your life on instant gratification and long standing excuses.

This book identifies that enemy and gives it a name. It then breaks the enemy down so that you can identify its every form. It shows you all the angles of attack it may throw against you. What you do with that knowledge is then up to you. You have to fight this enemy. No one can do it for you.

A brilliant book. I've never read anything quite like it. I don't think it's a coincidence that one of my favorite works of fiction, The Gates of Fire, is by the same author either. The War of Art is for the modern day warrior, who has his own Thermopylae to face...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, changed my way of working, 10 Dec 2010
This book is great, very easy to read (got through it in about 4 hours, in spite of being massively dyslexic) and helps you to focus and recognise when you're putting off work. Since I've used it I've been writing every day and my work is getting a lot better quicker and I'm finding it easy.

I'd highly recommend.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just... no., 28 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The War of Art (Kindle Edition)
I've got several problems with this book. I really struggle to see why it's got so many 5 star ratings.

I'll go ahead and say that there *is* some good advice in here, mainly relating to just kicking yourself in the a*se and getting the work done. It's just so sad that it's veiled with woo-woo rubbish.

It's short, I read it in a couple of hours. I think that's probably a blessing in disguise, 'cos I really wouldn't want to waste much time on this drivel.

Here are my main bones of contention:

- 'Resistance' (the author's affected term for procrastination) causes cancer and mental illnesses. Resisting your calling, and following a different path, will result in your death. Basically.
- If Hitler hadn't diverged from his path as an artist ('cos of that old Resistance malarkey), there wouldn't have been a tyrannical war resulting in hundreds-of-thousands of deaths. He probably also got cancer.
- If you DO get cancer, then you need to take a long, hard look at your life, and follow your calling. The cancer will probably just disappear if you do that.
- Drugs, drink problems, social issues, all down to that pesky resistance.
- When you DO overcome procra.. RESISTANCE, people around you will become sick. Yep. (I'm not sure if they get cancer, the author didn't specify).
- About 30% of the book is dedicated to woo-woo cr*p about Muses & Angels.
- All your critics are just envious. All of them. And they probably have cancer.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is completely made up by marketing companies. See also: seasonal affective disorder and social anxiety disorder.

The author of this book doesn't seem to have taken into account the different lives that people have. For some, it's INCREDIBLY difficult to 'follow their calling', and to suggest that if they don't they'll get cancer? Hum. He seems to have spewed out a bunch of knee-jerk opinions and bundled them into a self-help book for artists.

Like I said at the start, there are some nuggets of value in the book, but no more than in other books of the same ilk (I heartily suggest It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden).

Read with caution, and remember that there's more than one way to reach your end goal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality print, poor content, 8 Aug 2013
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just couldn't get into this and the layout and quality of the book didn't help. Was expecting a practical guide but just a load of old cobblers. May as well have bought one of those self-help books from a gift shop rack.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A psychological game changer, 3 Dec 2010
Parts of this book have been coming back to me ever since I read it....It just makes sense. Now when I feel an incredible urge to not do something, I know it is probably the one thing I need to do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Butterflies, 7 Nov 2010
By 
Master S. R. Willis (London) - See all my reviews
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This book was a blessing to a wannabe creative. It goes deep into the human, or creators psyche by which we find the creative expanse that lies within us, has been given to us. Pressfield sees and describes creation as something fundamental to human well being and behaviour. We were 'meant' to do this.

There will be those who read this book out of the Ego and where a manual of 'how to' creativity is preferred. Those people will be greatly disappointed. He talks of powers and forces that aid us, it is not the semantics or science of thesse the author is concerned with but our experience and interaction with them. So to the pinicity skeptics, maybe you were meant to go write a how-to book for other afraid creators to read.

This is an inspiration and an insight into what we're fighting, how to fight it, that we can win and that we're in it with everyone else. Inspiring and challenging, I feel butterflies.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm sorry, but I really didn't like this book, 21 Feb 2013
By 
A. Z. Pinkus (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (Paperback)
Some one recommended this book, but I could hardly get through it.

The first thing that put me off was his reference to Hitler. He claims Hitler found it harder to fill a white canvas than start WWII. If the writer had done his homework, he would have known that Hitler painted two to three little watercolor paintings every day. These were to accompany picture frames that were sold in shops. He worked his ass off as a painter! He definitely didn't suffer from the "resistance" this book talks about.

The writer apparently didn't bother to fact-check. Note that this is supposed to be non-fiction. And it went down-hill from there.

The premise of this book seems to be that there is such a thing as "resistance" that artists need to overcome. It is written as a pep-talk a coach would give you, or your army drill instructor. It is all written as if art creation is like going to war. Later on he's all on about "amateurs do this, pros do that".

I (strongly!) believe that is not the right approach to art creation. The artist should first and foremost make sure he enjoys the process of art creation. All else follows from it. Resistance is non-existent as the artist cannot wait to jump out of bed every morning to continue work on his art. Beautiful things get made, and maybe, just maybe, commercial success is also around the corner.

I believe this book has it all wrong.
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