Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Nook - The War of Art

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield:

If you feel you are meant to do a certain creative endeavor in this world (like be a writer, or actor, or musician, etc.) but have been dragging your feet in doing it, then this is the book for you.  No wonder I found it on a list titled 50 Great Books That Will Change Your Life.

This tiny book (easily read in one day) is broken down into 3 sections.  The first part defines Resistance, that thing that keeps you from doing what you were meant to do.  Part 2 talks about "going pro" - how a pro handles Resistance versus an amateur.  Finally, part 3 discusses a "higher realm" in which Muses or angels or some higher power exists and encourages us to sit down and do our work (this third part is quite spiritual, but regardless of your beliefs, the author makes many compelling insights).

Resistance has me in its clutches in the worst way, but I've never stopped to look at (or even think about, for that matter) the enemy.  Why do I have such lofty dreams, yet never sit down to make them a reality?  Why do I define myself based on my creative aspirations, which have nothing to do with my day in and day out life?  You might be surprised that some things you thought (ok, I thought) were totally unrelated are actually a product of this procrastination, like eating sweets (guilty as charged).

I don't want to tell you too much about the book because there is a lot of revelation here, and I think it's best experienced by reading the author's own words rather than my clumsy re-telling.  I can only say that for those creative-types that want to follow their dreams, but have not, this book will help you and inspire you.  After reading it, I started a list of "vices" that I need to eliminate so that I can get down to creative business.  Because that is exactly what you'll want to do after you finish the book - get down to work.


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