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The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle | [Steven Pressfield]

The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1091 )
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4.4 (946 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elisabeth 05-17-14
    Elisabeth 05-17-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poisonous"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Only NOT listening could possibly have made this better.


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I like Guidall's work and voice, but it is warming and inviting. I.E. not congruous with the tone of this odious book.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The War of Art?

    I would remove the book from existence entirely.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Chapel Hill, NC, United States 04-19-14
    Mary Chapel Hill, NC, United States 04-19-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Waste of money"
    What disappointed you about The War of Art?

    This book goes off course into a lot of mumbo jumbo. A waste of time and money. Narration was fine. Content was pathetic. If you are looking for a boost to your creative production, try The Power of Habit. It was much more helpful.


    What other book might you compare The War of Art to and why?

    The Power of Habit offers sound advice and examples, not some nebulous new age bilge.


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathon Silt, CO, United States 02-14-14
    Jonathon Silt, CO, United States 02-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Ironicly Lazy"
    Would you try another book from Steven Pressfield and/or George Guidall?

    If it is fiction, I would absolutely consider a book by Pressfield.


    What was most disappointing about Steven Pressfield’s story?

    The book is full of claims with no backup. I know Pressfield wasn't writing for peer reviewed journals on his methods of defeating procrastination, but there are a lot of assumptions made that should not have been.


    Did George Guidall do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I don't pay that much attention to the reader unless it is really bad or really good so he must have been in between that.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment, and annoyance. Spoiler alert: To defeat procrastination you should pray to muses and rely on angels. Okie dokie. Next time just tell me to throw a penny in a wishing well and save me a couple hours.


    Any additional comments?

    I won't say the book is worthless. I'm sure some people can find some motivation in there somewhere. It was just a lazy book of claims from someone that sees themselves as an authority on a subject. It comes off more like a drunk bar conversation with someone telling you the secret to their success.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Sarasota, FL, United States 05-23-13
    Eric Sarasota, FL, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Is Steven Pressfield crazy?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The ideas communicated in this work are never once substantiated, are most often obviously incorrect, and are nearly always contradicted by other claims the author makes within the text. George Guidall does a nice job in communicating the material. I would actually like to hear George read something that isn't such a waste of time.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Steven Pressfield again?

    No.


    What didn’t you like about George Guidall’s performance?

    I liked George's performance. He clearly prepared for the reading and is rather articulate. Thankfully he read fast to shorten the amount of time the listener has to listen to the tripe the author wrote down. Interestingly and rather amusingly, though, this haste conveys a strong sense that Pressfield was manic while writing this work.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The War of Art?

    I would have totally rejected it.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're looking for a work that has information that matters and thus is actually inspirational instead of insane, try "The Drunkard's Walk." It's a bit longer but well worth a complete listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. L. Moore Pennsylvania, USA 12-19-13
    E. L. Moore Pennsylvania, USA 12-19-13
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    "Extremely Useful Ideas for Creative People"
    Any additional comments?

    First defining the resistance we face in trying to live our authentic lives, then offering ways to combat it and finally offering a course of action to continuing a course to living it, this book is a phenomenal resource that gives you a path to create a better life for yourself. Highly recommended for anyone who feels like they have lost focus, hope or purpose in their life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick FOREST GROVE, OREGON, United States 11-25-13
    Nick FOREST GROVE, OREGON, United States 11-25-13
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    "All the things you are afraid to admit"
    Would you listen to The War of Art again? Why?

    Absolutely, sometimes you need to put yourself in check and recognize your behaviors and this is a fun and quick listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The humor, it didn't feel like a sappy self help book.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The War of Art?

    The idea of going pro, of putting the time in every day even if nothing fruitful comes of it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luke J. Morris Elmwood Park, IL, United States 02-06-12
    Luke J. Morris Elmwood Park, IL, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2011

    Author

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    "Excellent and inspirational"
    Would you listen to The War of Art again? Why?

    I have already listened to it several times, and will again. It's great motivation whenever I have writer's block or get in some kind of creative rut.


    What other book might you compare The War of Art to and why?

    I haven't read another book quite like it. It covers some themes that have probably been covered in other books on overcoming procrastination, but I've never before seen the concept of 'resistance' addressed this directly and relatably.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The War of Art?

    Using resistance as a guide - that is, seeing that whatever resistance is working hardest to prevent me from doing, is what I most need to do. So if I'm making every possible excuse not to sit down and write, that's my cue to sit down and write. No matter what.


    Any additional comments?

    I could have used a bit more practical, step-by-step advice on how to 'turn pro'. Otherwise, this is a great read/listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Antelope Valley, CA, United States 02-01-14
    Diana Antelope Valley, CA, United States 02-01-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Procrastinate much? Put this in your cart (now)"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 07-23-14
    Catherine TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 07-23-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Not enough good ideas for the amount of garbage"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jatinder S Brar 07-12-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Pep talk, nothing more nothing less"
    If you could sum up The War of Art in three words, what would they be?

    Get to Work. A motivational bit of prose to help you tip toe around your own self sabotage.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Steven Pressfield? Why or why not?

    Likely not, in that by the author's own admission he is primarily a writer of fiction and this work was more of a one off. The autobiographical nature of the book is what attracted me to it.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    He has a very clean and crisp delivery; his mature voice was the perfect cast to share an artist's reflections on his own career in procrastination.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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