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

4.06 avg rating
( 38,461 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781936891023: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?

Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline.

Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself.

Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Publisher:

From the Introduction
Robert McKee
Bestselling Author of STORY: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting
On The War of Art
Steven Pressfield wrote The War of Art for me. He undoubtedly wrote it for you too, but I know he did it expressly for me because I hold Olympic records for procrastination. I can procrastinate thinking about my procrastination problem. I can procrastinate dealing with my problem of procrastinating thinking about my procrastination problem. So Pressfield, that devil, asked me to write this foreword against a deadline, knowing that no matter how much I stalled, eventually I'd have to knuckle down and do the work. At the last possible hour I did, and as I leafed through Book One, "Defining the Enemy," I saw myself staring back guilty-eyed from every page. But then Book Two gave me a battle plan; Book Three, a vision of victory; and as I closed The War of Art, I felt a surge of positive calm. I now know I can win this war. And if I can, so can you.

To begin Book One, Pressfield labels the enemy of creativity Resistance, his all-encompassing term for what Freud called the Death Wish-that destructive force inside human nature that rises whenever we consider a tough, long-term course of action that might do for us or others something that's actually good. He then presents a rogue's gallery of the many manifestations of Resistance. You will recognize each and every one, for this force lives within us all-self-sabotage, self-deception, self-corruption. We writers know it as "block," a paralysis whose symptoms can bring on appalling behavior.

Some years ago I was as blocked as a Calcutta sewer, so what did I do? I decided to try on all my clothes. To show just how anal I can get, I put on every shirt, pair of pants, sweater, jacket, and sock, sorting them into piles: spring, summer, fall, winter, Salvation Army. Then I tried them on all over again, this time parsing them into spring casual, spring formal, summer casual... Two days of this and I thought I was going mad. Want to know how to cure writer's block? It's not a trip to your psychiatrist. For as Pressfield wisely points out, seeking "support" is Resistance at its most seductive. No, the cure is found in Book Two: "Turning Pro."

Steven Pressfield is the very definition of a pro. I know this because I can't count the times I called the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance to invite him for a round of golf, and although tempted, he declined. Why? Because he was working, and as any writer who has ever taken a backswing knows, golf is a beautifully virulent form of procrastination. In other words, Resistance. Steve packs a discipline forged of Bethlehem steel.

I read Steve's Gates of Fire and Tides of War back-to-back while traveling in Europe. Now, I'm not a lachrymose guy; I hadn't cried over a book since The Red Pony, but these novels got to me. I found myself sitting in cafés, choking back tears over the selfless courage of those Greeks who shaped and saved Western civilization. As I looked beneath his seamless prose and sensed his depth of research, of knowledge of human nature and society, of vividly imagined telling details, I was in awe of the work, the work, all the work that built the foundation of his riveting creations. And I'm not alone in this appreciation. When I bought the books in London, I was told that Steve's novels are now assigned by Oxford history dons who tell their students that if they wish to rub shoulders with life in classical Greece, read Pressfield.

How does an artist achieve that power? In the second book Pressfield lays out the day-by-day, step-by-step campaign of the professional: preparation, order, patience, endurance, acting in the face of fear and failure-no excuses, no bullshit. And best of all, Steve's brilliant insight that first, last, and always, the professional focuses on mastery of the craft.

Book Three, "The Higher Realm," looks at Inspiration, that sublime result that blossoms in the furrows of the professional who straps on the harness and plows the fields of his or her art. In Pressfield's words: "When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us...we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete." On this, the effect of Inspiration, Steve and I absolutely agree. Indeed, stunning images and ideas arrive as if from nowhere. In fact, these seemingly spontaneous flashes are so amazing, it's hard to believe that our unworthy selves created them. From where, therefore, does our best stuff come?

It's on this point, however, the cause of Inspiration, that we see things differently. In Book One Steve traces Resistance down its evolutionary roots to the genes. I agree. The cause is genetic. That negative force, that dark antagonism to creativity, is embedded deep in our humanity. But in Book Three he shifts gears and looks for the cause of Inspiration not in human nature, but on a "higher realm." Then with a poetic fire he lays out his belief in muses and angels. The ultimate source of creativity, he argues, is divine. Many, perhaps most readers, will find Book Three profoundly moving.

I, on the other hand, believe that the source of creativity is found on the same plane of reality as Resistance. It, too, is genetic. It's called talent: the innate power to discover the hidden connection between two things-images, ideas, words-that no one else has ever seen before, link them, and create for the world a third, utterly unique work. Like our IQ, talent is a gift from our ancestors. If we're lucky, we inherit it. In the fortunate talented few, the dark dimension of their natures will first resist the labor that creativity demands, but once they commit to the task, their talented side stirs to action and rewards them with astonishing feats. These flashes of creative genius seem to arrive from out of the blue for the obvious reason: They come from the unconscious mind. In short, if the Muse exists, she does not whisper to the untalented.

So although Steve and I may differ on the cause, we agree on the effect: When inspiration touches talent, she gives birth to truth and beauty. And when Steven Pressfield was writing The War of Art, she had her hands all over him.

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.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2017)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2017. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # 1936891026

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.59
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2017)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2017. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New! This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # 1936891026

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC 1/11/2012 (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 9
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC 1/11/2012, 2012. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9781936891023

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.46
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by INGRAM INTERNATIONAL INC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description INGRAM INTERNATIONAL INC, 2012. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IQ-9781936891023

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 7.58
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Steven Pressfield
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor-be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself. Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781936891023

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.74
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Steven Pressfield
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor-be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself. Whether an artist, writer or business person, this simple, personal, and no-nonsense book will inspire you to seize the potential of your life. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781936891023

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.02
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Lakeside Books
(Benton Harbor, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 1936891026 BRAND NEW, GIFT QUALITY! NOT OVERSTOCKS OR MARKED UP REMAINDERS! DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER!|0.5. Bookseller Inventory # OTF-Y-9781936891023

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.13
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Steven Pressfield
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC. Paperback. Book Condition: New. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9781936891023

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.96
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Steven Pressfield
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC January 2012 (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Trade Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Bookworm Cali
(Santa Maria, CA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC January 2012, 2012. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 7363

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 11.66
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Steven Pressfield
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Trade Paperback Quantity Available: 15
Seller:
Powell's Books
(Portland, OR, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: New. TRADE PAPERBACK Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. Health and Self-Help>Self-Help>Creativity. Book: NEW, New. Bookseller Inventory # 01978193689102300. Bookseller Inventory # 01978193689102300

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.49
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book