The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield - Book Notes, Summary, Review

The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield - Book Notes, Summary, Review - Cover Image

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The War Of Art focuses on the topics of resistance and procrastination. It offers lots of insight into how these can negatively affect our creative output and general ability to get work done.

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Who Should Read This Book?

Honestly, I’m not sure who I would recommend this book to.

The book itself is about the topic of resistance and procrastination. It covers what resistance is and how people overcome that resistance.

Personally I didn’t enjoy the structure of this book which was made up of lots of small chapters each with their own idea or topic.

It looked just like a blog was picked up and turned into a book. Perhaps that’s what it was.

I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea to do this, I just feel like there was no flow to reading the book in a linear way.

Perhaps this book is better suited to being read a little bit and at different times. Each time you pick one or two chapters to read and gain some insight that way.


How This Book Changed Me

I’m not sure I learned anything totally new from reading this book. There were some good observations about the nature of resistance and procrastination but that was about it.

I had never read a book structured like this before which might be why I didn’t particularly love the format.

I’m sure there are lots of people that really resonated with this book but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.


My Top 3 Quotes That Resonated With Me

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” p13

“Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” p63

“Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. Resistance is the enemy within.” p20


Book Notes

  • What is resistance?
    • Anything we do that favors immediate gratification over long term growth or benefit.
    • Resistance is invisible, internal, and universal
  • Resistance is this form of self-sabotage that can distract us from our long term goals or aspirations.
  • Procrastination is a common form of resistance.

  • A pro will simply sit down and do the work every day no matter what.
    • A pro will understand the pay-offs down the line instead of instant gratification. They are the tortoise not the hare.
    • He/she will take what the day gives them because anything could happen.

“Resistance … uses fear of rejection to paralyze us and prevent us, if not from doing our work, then from exposing it to public evaluation.” p83

  • A professional will take on board feedback as a useful way to learn and grow.

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