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4.6 out of 5 stars132
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on August 18, 2015
After reading the first few pages I groaned and thought to myself "this book was written in crayon on the back of a cereal box"
A page or two later and my mind was changed.
Very easy reading, very short chapters, very much to the point.
Message driven home using many different analogies.
This one is a keeper. Something that you will pull out later on and read again.
Buy it.
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on November 5, 2003
If you have a passion in your life -- writing, painting, music, sculpting, dancing, acting -- and if this passion is the reason you believe you're alive, then check out this book. One of Pressfield's premises is that we're all MEANT for something, we're each here for some reason, to create something in the world (Eternity is in love with the productions of time) and if we don't live for and through this, then we're wasting our time. He blasts away even the most stubborn and alluring resistances - the excuses we tell ourselves for not doing the work. This book can rev you up -- it's short (165 pages)and powerful. I breezed through the book in a few hours and felt energized. Pressfield puts art-making in perspective, puts procastination in perspective, and delivers in a direct, conversational tone -- as one human who is trying to live a life that means something to another. I've read a lot of "how to" books and most don't live up to their hype. This one deals with how to overcome the obstacles of ambition and how (and why) to discipline yourself. As much as a cliche as it may sound, it will make a difference in how you look at what you do. Give it to anyone else you know who wants to write, paint, act, dance, compose, and wants to follow their dream.
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on May 29, 2015
I bought this book as recommended reading for an on-line course I was taking called Creative UnBootcamp, to help people get past Writer's Block or whatever creative block they're experiencing. The course did the trick and and I write every day now. Since the dry 'spell' was broken before I started reading this book I can't personally attest to its efficacy in that regard. But I was enchanted when I first heard the name of the book. What a clever name I thought. I'd never even heard of Steven Pressfield. Then I saw he'd written Bagger Vance. I hadn't read the book but I saw the movie when it first came out. I didn't know it was based on the Bhagavad Gita. That intrigued me since I follow a yogic path and the Bhagavad Gita is one of the defining texts of my life. So I ordered Bagger Vance, in book form, too. But back to 'The War of Art'. Although I can't claim it was responsible for getting me out of my writer's block, it certainly is one of the things keeping me out of it. It is broken up into small gemlike pieces so, much like doing mantra repetition on a mala, you can savour each sacred bead as it rolls through your consciousness. I deliberately read this book slowly. I would put it down, sometimes for days at a time, then pick it up, process a few more gems, and put it down again. I rarely reread books, and if I do, it's years later. But now that I'm finished, I will start at the beginning again (like painting the Golden Gate Bridge). This book reminds me why I write. The delight of a well turned phrase, the inspiration of a new concept encountered, the joy of communion with another thoughtful human being. You don't need to feel blocked in some way to love this book. Frankly I've found Self Help books to be completely useless for someone like me. This book is a treasure. It was designed to help readers accomplish something, but it has a separate existence beyond that also. I long ago embraced the Bhagavad Gita philosophy that we are not entitled to the fruits of our labour, and this book reinforces that on every page. Create for the joy of creating. Create because you must. Create because there is a longing in you that won't go away if you don't. Create as an offering. Just create. It's who we are.
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on August 30, 2003
I teach entrepreneurship to both artists and non-artists at a Boston nonprofit. We encourage all of our students to read The War of Art, and everyone who has read it says it has changed their life. Often, upon finishing the book, students are motivated to make some major decision or change that they have been agonizing over, and many students also get their spouse or kids to read it.
TWOA's main virtue is the clarity, precision, and conciseness with which it describes both the causes of, and cure for, creative blocks. Thanks to its clarity, etc., the reader can easily assimilate the points Pressfield is making and apply that information to make changes in his or her life. Because TWOA nails its topic so effectively and efficiently, I actually think it is more useful than other books on this topic, including best sellers such as Covey's Seven Habits.
I don't agree with every point Pressfield raises--for instance, he is somewhat skeptical of therapy, whereas I think it is often crucial--but there is no denying that this is a fantastically useful and effective book. In "real life" and on Amazon, I recommend it to everyone!
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on September 1, 2003
Without rehashing what this book is about, I want to tell you what it does: It pushes you to move beyond your current way of thinking about your creativity and removes the obstacles preventing you from taking greater creative actions.
I am not an artist, but rather an entrepreneur. The morning after I finished the book (it's a very quick read), I took what was previously a half-finished idea, fooled around with it for a while, saw it through to its completion and started using it as a marketing tool right away. It instantly became one of my most powerful methods for driving customers to my business. If I had not read the War of Art, the idea might still be unformed and unused.
If you're stuck in your way of thinking about problems in art, business or life, give this book a shot.
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on April 24, 2016
The author really gets it, and really makes you get it after reading. Loved it so much that I will buy a bunnch of copies in the future to give out to artists/creatives that come through my home. Fantastic.
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on October 13, 2015
Anyone who has ever encountered the enemy within - procrastination, puttering, putting last things first, etc. - will find in this book an understanding but somewhat pitiless writer who has battled those enemies against creativity and still does. You have to like Pressfield and wish you could meet him each morning so that the tendency to self-indulgence and avoidance might more readily be dismissed.
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on August 19, 2009
Creativity is innate, but productivity is not. The book is composed of short chapters that may be read one at a time, as meditations that slowly penetrate like a drop of oil into wood. In a similar fashion to Betty Edwards' "New Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain Workbook", you will learn to "trick" your brain into forgetting about distractions and focussing on taking just the first tiny steps forward.

Highly recommended as a reasonably priced gift for creative youths and adults.
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Are you creative, yet are facing writer's block? Read this book and it'll shake your block loose and help set you free!
In this slim volume Stephen Pressfield discusses the inner naysayer we all have within us, also referred to as an inner critic by most writers.This book helps you identify and defeat the negative self talk any creative person must deal with. It does so in a serious tone, sprinkled with lots of humor. For example, the heading of one of his essays is "How To Be Miserable" - it was an essay that had me chuckling. It also had me nodding my head as I recognized myself in what he wrote.
Written using a variety of short essays, this book is easy to pick up and read at any point. I read it from the first page to the last, in order. You don't necessarily need to do that to benefit from Stephen Pressfield's wisdom about the inner struggle creative people face from day to day. Read from beginning to end does have it's advantages though -- the author takes aim at resistance, procrastination, rationalization, and finally at the end winning the war. When we win the war of art we are free to create, free to be truly happy.
This is one of the best books I've read on the subject. It helped me identify my own foibles then smash the blocks holding me back. I saw myself in each page and triumphed along with the author. This is an excellent book for any creative person. I highly recommend it.
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on July 5, 2015
Get it. Read it.
Thats my review in a nutshell.

If you have ever felt that dogged internal harassment chatter & nag you into submission. The message in the book is a must.
The message will empower you, set you free & really get you pissed off at how resistance has insidiously stolen your true expression.
Finish this book, you'll feel equipped to kick resistances a$$, perhaps for the first time in your life.
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