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

4.6 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Black Irish Entertainment LLC; unknown edition (Jan. 11 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936891026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936891023
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 268 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Novelist Steven Pressfield (The Legend of Bagger Vance; Gates of Fire) goes self-help in The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle. Dubbing itself a cross between Sun-Tzu's The Art of War and Julie Cameron's The Artist's Way, Pressfield's book aims to help readers "overcome Resistance" so that they may achieve "the unlived life within." Whether one wishes to embark on a diet, a program of spiritual advancement or an entrepreneurial venture, it's most often resistance that blocks the way. To kick resistance, Pressfield stresses loving what one does, having patience and acting in the face of fear. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Drawing on his many years' experience as a writer, Pressfield (The Legend of Bagger Vance) presents his first nonfiction work, which aims to inspire other writers, artists, musicians, or anyone else attempting to channel his or her creative energies. The focus is on combating resistance and living the destiny that Pressfield believes is gifted to each person by an all-powerful deity. While certainly of great value to frustrated writers struggling with writer's block, Pressfield's highly personal philosophy, soundly rooted in his own significant life challenges, has merit for anyone frustrated in fulfilling his or her life purpose. Successful photographer Ulrich (photography chair, Art Inst. of Boston; coeditor, The Visualization Manual) explores the creative impulse and presents an approach to developing creativity that, like Pressfield's, will be relevant to artists and others. He identifies and explains seven distinct stages of the creative process: discovery and encounter, passion and commitment, crisis and creative frustration, retreat and withdrawal, epiphany and insight, discipline and completion, and responsibility and release. He also develops his view of the three principles of the creative impulse, which include creative courage, being in the right place at the right time, and deepening connections with others. Rooted in Eastern philosophy, Ulrich's fully developed treatise nicely updates the solid works of Brewster Ghiselin (The Creative Process), Rollo May (The Courage To Create), and Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way). It also supplements Pressfield's inspirational thoughts on overcoming resistance through introspective questions and practical exercises that further elaborate the creative process. Both books are recommended for public libraries needing additional works on creativity. Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You could get the whole book in a blog post. The idea is very, very simple. Think of how a professional accepts the downsides of their work, and accept those things as part of being the artist. So you use discipline, you go to work. Next, know that our brain is hardwired to avoid energy expenditure, you will experience a powerful force against you, constantly. He calls it Resistance with a capital 'R'. Build the habit of always acting in some way when faced with resistance. Finally, he talks about how he uses prayer to the muses as inspiration.

If you readily get what I just posted, you don't need to buy a whole book on those ideas.
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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.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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