Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art is not just for writers. It’s a book for anyone who wants to overcome their Resistance to doing anything, whether it be a creative art form, exercising, starting a business, etc.
As he says at the beginning of the book, “There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: it’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.”*
I don’t know as I agree that the writing is the easy part – it’s hard in its own way – but it’s true that you first have to overcome Resistance to begin writing at all. Through the book, he goes from “Defining the Enemy” to “Combating Resistance” to taking us “Beyond Resistance.” The first two sections are pithy, short, advice-filled chapters that bear referring to again and again. The third is one that some people will love and others will eyeroll at, with the focus on muses and angels and higher powers and personal destiny. It will either resonate with you or it won’t, but try to keep an open mind, because the key to overcoming Resistance is whatever works for you, and you never know what snippet of an idea might be the spark that will enable you to work on a regular basis and achieve your goals.
This is a book I dip into when I need a little kick in the ass, and to be reminded that Resistance isn’t the giant frozen wall it seems to be, and that the difference between the professional and the amateur is that the professional feels the Resistance and does the work anyway.
*(Pressfield, Steven, The War of Art, Grand Central Publishing, 2012.)
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