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
If it is fiction, I would absolutely consider a book by Pressfield.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do the Work...
My favorite character was Fizzle. he was so realistic....
when I farted. Great question, though.
If you create anything, read this book.
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.
As a metaphor on the nature of the creative struggle I found it illuminating.
But it wanders off in to magical thinking and ideas such as suggesting the stifling of passions being the possible cause of cancer....
Well I don't think Steve Jobs stifled his passions and alas he is no longer with us.
I have listened to The War of Art several times and each time I grasp a new insight. Steven Pressfield says all artists and creative types struggle with what he calls resistance and that resistance is just a natural state for us as humans. There is no getting rid of resistance other than to do your work, whether that be painting, sculpting, writing, or creating a new business venture.
David Bayles Art and Fear is a work with a similar theme. The War of Art is an easier read, or listen, and more action oriented rather than philosophical.
The first time I listened to this book listened all the way through without a pause - I just didn't want to stop listening.
I'm a narrator for Audible and a lover of recorded fiction in the mystery/thriller genre. A great book needs a great narrator.
YES, a must read for anyone with a creative bone in their body or anyone who even thinks they might have one, this is a landmark piece of work!
I loved it all, hard to pinpoint, George Guidall presents Pressfield's insightful material with a divine-like resonance. I've never heard the notion of "resistance" defined the way Pressfield explains it, wonderful!
Every moment of it, he is a master narrator who has honed his skill to a fine point and his voice is perfect for the material.
We're all divine with innate talent, it's up to us to defeat "Resistance" and bring it on!
This should be required listening for all students, it would change the world! :)
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.
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.
Absolutely, sometimes you need to put yourself in check and recognize your behaviors and this is a fun and quick listen.
The humor, it didn't feel like a sappy self help book.
The idea of going pro, of putting the time in every day even if nothing fruitful comes of it.
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