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

4 avg rating
( 80,540 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781936891023: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

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

Stock Image

1.

Steven Pressfield
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Paperback Quantity available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. 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. Seller Inventory # APC9781936891023

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 16.47
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

2.

PRESSFIELD, STEVEN
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Softcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
Magers and Quinn Booksellers
(Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A.)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012. Condition: New. Brand New. Seller Inventory # 103191

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 12.95
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

3.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New PAP Quantity available: 15
Print on Demand
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9781936891023

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 17.94
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

4.

Pressfield, Steven; Coyne, Shawn [Editor]
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Paperback Quantity available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(Houston, TX, U.S.A.)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX1936891026

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.24
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

5.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Softcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
My Books Store
(Tallahassee, FL, U.S.A.)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012. Condition: new. Book is in NEW condition. Satisfaction Guaranteed! Fast Customer Service!!. Seller Inventory # MBSN1936891026

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.60
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

6.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Softcover Quantity available: 2
Seller:
Indiana Book Company
(Marion, IN, U.S.A.)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012. Condition: New. Ships same or next business day with delivery confirmation. Brand New. Expedited shipping available. Seller Inventory # 1000005713133-971

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.09
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.25
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

7.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by Black Irish Entertainment (2011)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Paperback Quantity available: > 20
Seller:
Russell Books
(Victoria, BC, Canada)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. 47716th. Special order direct from the distributor. Seller Inventory # ING9781936891023

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.54
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 6.99
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

8.

Steven Pressfield
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Softcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
Big Bill's Books
(Dripping Springs, TX, U.S.A.)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012. Condition: new. Seller Inventory # Bill_New_1936891026

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 32.13
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

9.

Steven Pressfield
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Softcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
GoldenWavesOfBooks
(Fayetteville, TX, U.S.A.)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012. Condition: new. Seller Inventory # Paul_New_1936891026

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 32.13
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.00
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

10.

Pressfield, Steven
Published by Black Irish Entertainment LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 1936891026 ISBN 13: 9781936891023
New Softcover Quantity available: 5
Seller:
GreatBookPricesUK
(Castle Donington, DERBY, United Kingdom)

Book Description Black Irish Entertainment LLC, 2012. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 15839030-n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.68
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 21.15
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book