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72 of 72 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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91 of 98 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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72 of 72 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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88 of 93 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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91 of 98 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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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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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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15 of 17 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concisely powerful, 29 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (Paperback)
I came across this book having seen Steven's interview with Marie Forleo on her YouTube channel. Chances are that you already have a good idea about what this book is about so I won't repeat what others have written at length.

As an arch procrastinator with an embarrassingly short attention span I found the unusual structure of this book very helpful. The chapters, for want of a better word, are very short, often just a page or two and sometimes just a paragraph. However, they feel beautifully crafted with each one putting forward its meaning both concisely and powerfully (although I do find the term "Resistance" a little broad and have found substituting the word "Familiarity" helpful).

I find myself re-reading War of Art and Turning Pro quite frequently and have been through both books several times now. Each time through I seem to notice something new in the relatively few words, or maybe they are just sinking in a little more. Either way, deep down we probably already know what is being written about but it somehow helps to see it before our eyes. I find that I can pick up either book, pick a page at random and find something immediately relevant to put in the 'here and now' which is so helpful.

It feels that Steven has put a lot of himself into this book in quite an authentic and revealing way. I think anyone who has, or who is contemplating putting anything creative 'out there' will recognise the bravery in that.

Incidentally, I ordered War of Art and Turning Pro from Amazon at the same time and Turning Pro happened to turn up first, so I read it before War of Art. I'm glad I did. Although Turning Pro was written later and expands on Part 2 of War of Art, it feels more like a prequel.

I think they are both excellent books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great...depending on your own state of mind, situation and vision in life., 1 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (Paperback)
4/5, it lost one star for the following:

-the writer only considers his own life and interpretation, sometimes other celebrities, but mainly his own and does not look at the situations that arise in other peoples lives and why they might act in certain ways.

-the book is too short, 160 pages of which many are 1 paragraph pages and blank on the next side, if condensed, would probably be less than a 100 pages.

-says some silly things like all critics who give a negative review are jealous and those who get cancer get it because there body is telling them to be there full potential, it the cancer goes once they start living happily.

the good points from the book:
-does what it says, a kick in the ass, more of a summary that you should read every so often to remind yourself where you might be slipping.
-book 1 of the 3 mini books inside is the strongest of all 3, very informative and shows you how you fall under the resistance

So overall, it is a great bit of work and when I put it down I really did enjoy it and it definitely does what it says, I just feel it could of cut down on some of the nonsense spoken and more of a description of what the writer was trying to say, instead of 1 paragraph chapters.

P.S, Many complained about the third book in which he talks about Angels and Muses, I actually think it was nicely written and related well to his own way of thinking although it was definitely the strangest part of the book but was a good interpretation on life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing support for creators of all kinds of art, 17 April 2012
By 
M. A. Stuart "landstatic" (Polegate, UK) - 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)
Whatever your current project is, if you love the act of creating works of art, from paintings to musical compositions, from poetry to an epic novel, then The War of Art is a book that you will need to -- or at least probably should -- read every year or so. It deals with the curse that is procrastination, as seen through the eyes of a writer, appealing to and empathising with artists in general; their struggle to engage with their muse, achieve their flow, elevate their spirit!

The style is light and the reading easy-going; yet, The War of Art gets directly to the heart of the matter. It offers a comprehensive treatment of the multifarious disguised forms of procrastination, providing plenty of techniques and strategies for overcoming them; encouraging you to "go pro" and thereby up your game, conquer and win!. The book can be read in one sitting, in a matter of a few hours.

The only thing I did not enjoy about The War of Art, although it does not merit the deduction of a star, is the heavy and persistent references to God. The publisher may have felt the same way, as this aspect of the book is acknowledged and to some extent justified, in the forward by Robert McKee. I am not anti-God, nor am I against Steven's expression of his passionate beliefs in this way, but as a non-Christian the references lacked relevance.

The War of Art is such a great book; a cherished read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Resistance to follow your dreams can be overcome, 10 Aug. 2011
"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."

Sounds familiar? Most of us are very much aware that there could be a different life for us, but we continue our own treadmill. It is simply too hard to change, and if we attempt to do so, there are numerous blockages on the road that will discourage us. The good news is this. You are not alone. It is a natural resistance which comes in many forms, and it can be overcome.

Steven Pressfield's book is a joy to read and you'll finish it on a lazy day. The book comes in three sections. After defining the many forms of resistance we experience, Steven describes how we can combat resistance and become a creative professional. In the third section, he describes the higher realm, i.e. how to invoke the muse inside ourselves. Steven's writing is in a way mystical as well as down to earth. To live the unlived life is not mysterious but requires hard work. But it will be so much more rewarding since we will become more authentic and successful. "Our job in this lifetime is to find out who we already are and become it."

If you want to pursue your dreams and get started, this book will definitely light a fire in you and encourage you to make the first step.
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