The War of Art

I’m discovering this fantastic book a little late. A creative writing student at Appalachian State told me about Steven Pressfield’s writing book, THE WAR OF ART, years ago, and it’s been on my radar ever since. Finally picked it up before my last road trip and inhaled the thing. The first third of the book is my favorite; it deals with overcoming resistance to getting work done, and it applies to a lot more than just writing. Check it out.


11 responses to “The War of Art”

  1. I agree the first third of the book is genius.
    The second third is okay, but when I got to the part where he talks about the ancient greeks believing in their gods because they didn’t know any better, and started to have hope he was a logical thinker, he lost me when he started giving credit to his god. My MAJOR problem with him is his giving credit to the fairies, no ancient muse woman snuck into your head Hugh, YOU wrote your book by overcoming resistance and just placing ass in chair and doing it. By giving credit to imaginary fairies you take away from the reality that the man writes the book, and you give excuses to the lazy….”The muse has not come to me so i can’t write”.
    People think being an Atheist is simply about the gods, it is not, it is about giving people credit they deserve. The gods did not save people on 911, Firemen and Police men did. Magical muses don’t write books, people do.

    1. Your comment reminded me of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk, “Your Elusive Creative Genius.”

  2. I love that book. It’s been so long since I read it. After I finished it the first time, I knew I would publish. My first book came out less than a year later.

  3. There’s also a follow-up called “Do The Work”, published in 2011.

  4. Personally, I loved The War of Art, but I loved Do the Work even more. If I had to pick between both of them, I’d choose Do the Work. That one’s like a manual on overcoming resistance.

  5. I’ve got both books on my iPad.

    I should read them.

  6. Living the Dream

    With all due respect I would hazard a guess that John Monk is not published. If Robert McKee, one of Hollywood’s most respected story tellers is prepared to preface The War of Art, and Hugh Howey is pushing it on his website, then it has to be frickin genius …. otherwise you are accusing RobertMc Kee and Hugh Howey of making a grave mistake. NOT … Read it again … The War of Art has nothing to do with God or Religion. As for 911 …. more religious and Godly experiences came out of that one incident to affect the American pschy than any other incident since WW11. Any writer who is published will tell you that seeing their work (finally) in the flesh, is like having a dream come true. Instead of living the dream though, I prefer to think of it as the dream living you, you just gotta show up and as Steve Pressfield says and “do the work” The dream can live anyone, so you better be prepared to prove that you are worthy. If you want your work to be read by the masses, then you gotta go the distance and “Turn Pro” Have far have you gone John Monk?

  7. Yup, it’s a good one. I should probably give it another go-through.

  8. I just listened to this a few months ago and loved it too.
    Joanna Penn talked about a book that goes into the psychology behind stories a few years ago. (Episode #135) Have you read this?
    Just wondering if it is worth trying to squeeze into my limited time working, family time with my toddlers, and actually writing :)

  9. Yes! I love this book. I tell everyone who wants to create for a living to read it. Steven’s follow-up book Turning Pro is also great. :)

  10. I love this book and have sent copies to all of my writer friends. Resistance is such a liar and a thief.

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