The War of Art

The War of Art is a short and slightly bizarre book about how to fight your inner inertia and actually get to making your art, whatever your own particular art may be.  Steven Pressfield thinks everyone has it in them to do something great, but most people give in to Resistance and never get it done.  Pressfield equates Resistance with evil, but his views on good and evil and angels and whatnot will probably strike you as odd if you base your religious beliefs on some authority other than Steven Pressfield.

That said, I did find a few interesting nuggets I thought I would share with you.  When it comes to books my policy is to take the good and leave the weird.

If you find yourself asking “Am I really a writer?  Am I really an artist?” chances are you are.  The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident.  The real one is scared to death.

Good news!  I’m not wildly self-confident about writing!  Yes!  🙂

Of any activity you do, ask yourself: if I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?

Pressfield makes an interesting distinction between things we do because of territory and things we do because of hierarchy.  If you do something because you love it and you’d do it even if you were the last person on earth, that’s territory.  That’s something you should stick with.  But if you are doing something because of what other people will think of you if you don’t, that’s heirarchy, and maybe you should think twice about it.  Now you can take that too far of course, but I found it thought-provoking, especially because I tend to be a people-pleaser and I certainly have made a lot of choices based on what I thought I was supposed to do, rather than what I really felt called to do (and I’m talking about good things, not choosing bad things – not all good things are the best for everyone).

I didn’t really get much out of this book, but at least it was a quick read.  It could have just been an accident of choosing the wrong book at the wrong time.  If you read it and got tons out of it, please leave a comment and tell me what I missed!

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