Only NOT listening could possibly have made this better.
I like Guidall's work and voice, but it is warming and inviting. I.E. not congruous with the tone of this odious book.
I would remove the book from existence entirely.
I am an epileptic, chronic pain suffering artist, with robust family support. In the very introduction Pressfield systematically attacks the reality of my medical conditions, suggesting that they are somehow caused by personal weakness; and then goes on to suggest that I should deny myself the the emotional support I receive from my closest relationships. I cannot imagine this advice being healthy for anyone. Stay away.
Laid out are all the ways I have found to not get things done. Which makes it harder to do these things, now that I know they are just a way to avoid accomplishing what's important.
I will be forever grateful to the friend who recommended this book.
As an artist, I have beat myself up my entire life for procrastinating, which only leads to more shame and avoiding my work more.
As Pressfield explained 'resistance', I went from the shame that I hadn't done anything (and contemplating abandoning my projects altogether), to feeling I wasn't alone. I now see that my procrastination and fear is just a sign that I really want to be doing the work; it matters dearly to me.
The first half of the book deals with the ego/mind side of things- how we trick ourselves into procrastination and avoidance. He brings words to the concept of writer's block that have changed my language around my work.
The second half of the book is surprisingly spiritual. I have always believed that my work channels down from something bigger than myself, and Pressfield affirms that. It took the pressure off in a way I couldn't have imagined. How I get over my resistance now is just by tapping into my muses, and surrendering to the message flowing down through me.
This quote by Martha Graham explains it perfectly:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
The narrator definitely adds tone to the work.
I would include practicals for overcoming the inner struggle of an artist and not just point out the "resistance".
The first half is the best.
Don't expect life changing words but it does gives you an image of the negative force that is stopping you from creating your art.
I learned that procrastination is nothing but resistance, a resistance that can be easily be conquered with the right mindset. I printed this quote from the book and put it on my wall to remind myself of just that.
"There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on resistance. This second we can sit down and do our work"
This might work for some. It didn't work for me. Ostensibly, the author listed all the things we do, unrelated to work, and referred to them as resistance. For those who need deeper insight, this book will not meet your needs. I found it flat as can be. That said, it does serve as a finger wagging reminder that really, all you gotta do is JUST GET TO WORK.
It got me writing every day.
This one was a life-changer. Pressfield's ideas about Resistance are specifically for writers, but I have artist and entrepreneurial friends who've gotten just as much motivation and value from them. It's a short, galvanizing book. The ideas are forceful. He expresses them in his own terms, which employ metaphors of war and sport that I'd normally find distasteful, but which here just feel honest and straightforward. He's not trying to please everyone (which is, in fact, a big part of his advice to other writers).
I'd say that if you are an artist, a writer, a musician, or the a practitioner of any craft or skill that you wish you were doing more of, or were more devoted to, The War of Art might be a game-changer for you. It was for me: after listening to it, I completed revisions on a long-procrastinated novel and have continued to write nearly every day.
George Guidall is an excellent narrator for this material. His voice is wry and humorous, and he brings a deep understanding of the text to his reading, every paragraph pitch perfect. I think he adds a significant dimension to the book that I wouldn't have gotten from the print version.
This is a wonderful book for anyone on this journey through life. We all have some passion deep within us, and, as the author so simply notes, humans have this tendency to sabotage ourselves. Anytime I need a pick-me-up to get my motivation perked, I listen to this book. It is awsome and so easy to understand. Love it.
It's better than any self-help book I've ever read because it cuts through the chase of what's going on in the human psyche, for all humans, really.
George Guidall took a little getting used to, but the message of the book is so sincere that after a while I was fine with his "elderly" voice. I guess it's apropos to have that type of voice imparting such awesome wisdom.
The best thing I learned is that whatever it is I want to do, I can just do it. I don't necessarily have to have a title for it.
Great book and I would highly recommend it to anyone.