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The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles Paperback – 11 Jan 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 255 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
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  • Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way
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  • Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work
Total price: £23.05
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Product details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Black Irish Entertainment LLC (11 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936891026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936891023
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A vital gem...A kick in the ass for all of us with a tendency towards procrastination."

"Amazingly cogent and smart on the psychology of creation."

About the Author

STEVEN PRESSFIELD is the author of Turning Pro, Do the Work, The Warrior Ethos and the international bestselling novels, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Virtues of War, The Afghan Campaign, Killing Rommel, and The Profession. He lives in Los Angeles.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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'.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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