Internationally best-selling author of Last of the Amazons, Gates of Fire and Tides of War, Steven Pressfield delivers a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity. Pressfield believes that “resistance” is the greatest enemy, and he offers many unique and helpful ways to overcome it.
©2002 Steven Pressfield (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
This book will acquaint you with Resistance in all it's cunning disguises, so you can face it down and get on with your Work. This book is not only for artists, writers, or other creative types. I think it would be helpful to anyone who can't seem to lose a bit of weight, kick the drinking habit, or commit to taking the actions toward whatever eludes them. It's probably Resistance, and this book will show you what to do about it.
The book title seems to indicate that it's only for creative types -- I would disagree. Anyone who is passionate about their work, or is trying to find how/what to be passionate about in their life can take away some valuable lessons from this book. If you suffer from procrastination, or lack the passion to finish projects -- this book is the kick in the butt you may very well need. It's a short read/listen, but it's well worth it; I would recommend multiple reads to keep yourself inspired.
I must begin this review with a discussion of the narrator. I adore George Guidall's voice. I could listen to him in the midst of a tornado and feel calmed and reassured that all was well. Such is his gift of narration. While I don't mind speeding up most other narrators, I would normally consider it a form of sacrilege to speed up a book George Guidall was narrating, but by the end of this one, I was at 3x speed. That's how bad it became.
It started out well. To summarize the best points, which all occurred in the first part of the book:
The toughest part of any project is getting started, which is why discipline and a schedule are immensely helpful in the creative process. Just because the process is creative doesn't mean that it should be impulsive. Scheduled work is work that helps the process along.
Figure that there are going to be pressures, disappointments, and irritations (Pressfield calls all of the above resistance). Ignore and fight anything or anybody that keeps you from your work.
Consider failure a learning experience and proof that you are succeeding at getting something done, even if that something is failure, itself. Better to try than to be lazy.
Laziness is next to being dead. To be productive is to be alive and to be alive is to be productive.
While I don't agree with everything he says about the importance of being at work all the time (one can drive oneself crazy with that idea), I also agree with the author that one can drive oneself crazy by being too lazy or, at least, lackadaisical, in one's work. We all need to know that we've accomplished something, and there is something to be said for the idea that time is your life and how you spend it is how you spend your life, so you'd better spend it well.
All of the above said, this book is not worth the crude language and the mixed-up pseudo-religious ideas that muck it up. I don't know what religion the author really professes given that he stole ideas from the Illiad and the Odyssey, from humanism, from stoicism, from Indian mysticism, and from pantheism. I don't know what that combination amounts to, but I found it contridictory and irrelevant to the topic. He rambles on at length about the importance of dreams, the self, and the ego to no productive end, as far as I could tell.
What I was expecting was help in the fight against procrastination, and some of that was present in the first part of the book, but that wasn't worth what I endured during the rest of the book. It's really bad when George Guidall's voice can't save it. My advice? Save the money and/or the credit and write yourself a schedule for completing projects that are important to you and stick with it. There. Now you won't have to fight through this badly-written book, which should give you more time to work on your project.
Interesting way to think of the creative process (or war). Probably the best quote "It was easier for Hitler to start WWII than to face the blank canvas."
I think as a creative person, this book just spoke to me, on so many different levels. The contents of this book are completely universal, regardless of whether you're an artist or not, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will listen again.
I actually liked part 3, the spiritual side of where he thinks our creativity comes from - it's definitely divine.
I loved the idea of invoking the Muse, and I'm not a hippie either.
Try this book out if you're creative, not-creative, or want to be creative.
This book is broken into three parts, the first two are fantastic. He identifies and analyses what blocks an artist from accomplishing their work. It is something that everyone - artist or no - can relate to. The last part is a little too fuzzy and spiritual for my tastes - but at least he warns you about it first.
YES! I'm a working artist, and its a hard road, but if feels good to hear someone GET IT! and talk form that place of knowing. first book ive ever gifted.
VERY interesting hearing about the muses
least favorite part of the book. part of the charm is the casual yet astute writing, this over dramatized read just doesnt match. but STILL i listened to it twice so ....
YES, and i did ... twice. and i will again.
there is something important about knowing some one understands your struggle. YES this topic has been covered but the concise simplicity and humor, just made this STICK for me, and several other artists i know ...
No - But common sense is not always common practice. It helps to listen to it again and again
Steven Covey's 7 habits is a good one because we all need to understand that we are the captain of our own ship.
Can't say that I had a favorite.
Let the magic of art flow through you.
The book was total nonsense. I am surprised that George Guildall read it. If I am not sure about a book, that fact that he reads it influences me to get it. But, this book is a total waste of time and ridiculous.
I am not a Steven Pressfield person, didn't even really know who he was before I looked him up after ordering this book, but I wanted to read an artist's thoughts on creating art, and how hard it can be; I didn't care who the artist was. However, the book turns out to be very much from a male, former marine, do it or die point of view (the author's background). There was much in the book that I could identify with and I really loved the first part, which is on how to overcome resistance to working. What artist is there who doesn't find everything and anything else to do other than the work of their favorite yet most challenging thing? There were a lot of stories and insights about it that I could "take away" to use in real life. The last part was supposed to be transcendent, tying together philosophy, science and religion. It didn't work for me because I don't share his religious views, but his points were not radical or strange. I believe there is some useful info in here for everyone, at some point in their creative life. The reader did an excellent job, but he sounded all too tough and male and that probably made me feel separate (being female).
Report Inappropriate Content