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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars65
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 26 April 2011
It is very good of the author and Seth Godin to offer this for free on the Kindle.

Many people have found Steven Pressfield's book " The war of Art" to be very useful in overcoming resistance or procrastination and " Do the work" is basically a distillation of that book.

I do have very mixed feelings about his approach. For overcoming writers block I have found it to be somewhat useful . Even successful and prolific writers sometimes have problems and seeing this resistance as something to be fought and overcome can be quite helpful.

However I did find the writing to be overwrought, self-dramatising and often very inconsistent. Also it seemed a bit too personal to the author.

I have found books that give far more practical advice to be a lot more useful. Pressfield's approach only seems to deal with one possible reason for procrastination.

The psychologist Albert Ellis in his Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy approach has a lot of methods to deal with "Low Frustration Tolerance" (which seems similar to resistance) and these seem to be much more useful than the mystical approach that book uses.

For areas other than dealing with a writer's block I think that his ideas might actually be harmful and de-motivating. He makes everything seem really difficult and not really enjoyable. It hardly makes you want to start work on a potentially difficult project!

Edit: I wrote this review when it was available for a free download and gave it three stars. It is currently very poor value for money.
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on 27 April 2011
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Simply a collection of truisms, flat words and ideas thrown at the reader. A serious lack of helpful ideas. Just a series of stupid sentences like:
"Resistance is the shadow cast by the innovative self's sun"
"The enemy is Resistance"
"Break the sheet of foolscap into three parts: beginning, middle, and end."
It felt like an endless series of encouragements with no value: You can do it, do it, resistance is the enemy, fight the resistance, do it. And worst of all the book encourages people not to plan, not to think, not to prepare. Just DO IT!
That's how many companies went bankrupt - they did not think, they just did it. In the stupidest possible ways.
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on 21 August 2012
Good advice about how to approach writing a play. Not so useful if you're trying to write a book! I felt as if I was being shouted at - in a good way if that's possible - through a series of one-liners. These were very practical, but all the time I wanted to know more.
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on 26 August 2011
A great book which I have to admit I haven't finished yet as it would seem to only really be of use when you have a serious new venture under-way or in the offing (which I don't). Whether it be writing an album or starting a business this book is a handy companion to keep you on track. Those expecting a detailed step-by-step manual for success will be disappointed though.
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on 17 November 2015
If you have ever procrastinated around doing the work you really want to do, the work that is fulfilling but maybe not immediately rewarding, then this book is for you. It made me laugh out loud with 'super-truth laughter' when I read it and realised that all my dodges and rationalisations were being named and shamed one by one. This book will help you sweep away all of your own BS and actually DO what you long to do but are scared to do. Highly recommended.
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on 14 March 2015
Pressfield can turn a struggling writer into an inspired writer. Turning Pro and The War in Art (by the same author) are essential books for anyone trying to make creativity the focus of their lives. I feel I owe Steven Pressfield a great debt. His work on writer's block (that he calls resistance) has shown me how I use other addictive behaviours to avoid getting down to write. Yes he acknowledges the big blocks like drug and alcohol addiction but includes all the other things we repeatedly allow to get in the way of the work our lives and souls need us to do. He highlights all the other things we allow ourselves to be addicted to, falling in love, drama in our own lives and our friends, too much TV, sometimes we allow ourselves to do anything but the thing we feel truly called to.
Pressfield gives you the tools to be open and honest about yourself and your justifications for not doing what you know you should do. His ultimate message is clear and sound Do the Work !!!!
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on 26 October 2011
It's a fact that there are some people that can quickly get to grips with new plans, and within a short period they can be well on their way within a given project. Others find it much harder to get started and may take considerable time to do much more than the most basic steps if they achieve anything at all. For all of the second group of people, this book tries to help you get yourself into the swing of things as quickly as possible.

As far as it goes, it's not too bad; I found some of the aphorisms quite useful. However, I wouldn't describe it as unique; there are many other books (some much longer and more detailed) that I feel provide better advice and much more of it. However, the most important thing is if the reader finds it of value, and that comes down to personal taste.

I downloaded it when it was free, but it seems that it now comes with a price tag, and I'm not entirely sure that I feel it worth even the relatively low price currently listed. However, I did enjoy reading it, so I still feel comfortable giving it 3 stars.
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on 20 March 2016
Awesome little book. I'm not an experienced reader so I love this because it is small and doesn't have a standard page format
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on 16 March 2016
The shortest and most succinct book you didn't know you needed.

Buy it and read it at least twice. Now.
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on 14 January 2016
Just finished this book and a lot of it went to a nice snug deep place inside. That box has been closed now and I doubt I will forget the messages in here. I read this one before the others and I am really looking forward to reading the others. Its just what I was looking for now and I feel more empowered to take this on. Now I feel like I can also help others.

Thank you for sharing your kind words
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