Book Club – The War of Art

27 Jul

We read “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield for book club this month. I had read this book several years ago and found it quite interesting, and was anxious to re-read it. While the general idea of the book remained in my head, I had forgotten a lot of details about it.

The War of  Art by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The book is broken down into 3 sections: Resistance – Combating Resistance – Beyond Resistance. Do you see a theme here? It is all about resistance.

Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet.

After reading this book, I will have to agree with that statement. Resistance is the enemy to all types of creativity and entrepeneurial dreams and all self-empowering and self-improvement activities. Pretty much anything that is about art, creativity, long-term growth and benefits, health, and integrity. Those are the targets of Resistance. All the stuff that is good for you!

And Resistance is sneaky. It takes many many many forms. Resistance always seems to make sense.  And just when you have figured out how to battle a particular form of Resistance, it decides to sneak in and do something new to create Resistance. Aagghh! You have to remain ever vigilant.

Some examples of Resistance at work. Do you see yourself in any of these?

  • procrastination
  • non-supportive family
  • drama
  • self-medicating
  • blaming
  • self-doubt
  • self-criticism
  • rationalization
  • fear

There are more examples in the book, which really does explain how we let these things take control of us. And when that happens, we let our dreams fall by the wayside.

We need to Combat Resistance!!!! Some ideas of combat from the book are:

  • turn pro (there is a world of difference between a pro and a amateur)
  • show up and do the work
  • do it for love  (even though the money is important)
  • be patient
  • accept mistakes as part of the game
  • be orderly
  • don’t make excuses
  • face your fears

Doing what you know in your heart is important does not come easy.  But do it anyway!

Going Beyond Resistance is the final part of the equation.  Pressfield talks about the ‘higher realm’. A belief system – in God or Goddess, in Angels, in Muses, in Dreams, in the Universe. Whatever you believe, it is there for you to use. Tap into it and accept it and let it work through you.

Use your gifts, your passions, your love and give back to the world.

Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention…..It’s a gift to the world and every being in it…..Give us what you’ve got.

This is one of those books that you should re-read from time to time. Not only does your life perspective and creative endeavors change, but your paths of Resistance change as well. You can’t Combat them if you don’t recognize them. I know I recognize several of them working on me, so I am off to Combat them and move forward with sharing my gifts with the world.

Next month’s book is “The Trickster’s Hat” by Nick Bantock. A mischievous apprenticeship in creativity. Now that should be fun!


Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, Co 80918



4 Responses to “Book Club – The War of Art”

  1. lynnk50 July 30, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

    I didn’t get a chance to read this book this month, as I haven’t been able to get a hold of a copy. Looks like a good book to read. Might have to try to order from Amazon. Just can’t afford to by many books.

    Since I couldn’t find this book, I read “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon (his second book after “Steal Like an Artist”. I enjoyed it almost as much as his first book. Instead of stealing influence from others, this one gives advice on influencing others by letting them steal from you. He really emphasizes sharing the process, not just the product, of your creativity online with others. It reminds me of the Kevin Costner movie “Field of Dreams” saying, “If you build it, they will come.” The rest of my review can be read on my blog at


    • Deb Prewitt July 31, 2014 at 7:48 am #

      You should be able to find the book at the library I would think. Or used. Even on Amazon I’ll bet there are used copies available. It is a good book to read and then re-read again.

      I have the “Show Your Work” book, but just haven’t read it yet. I expect it will be equally entertaining and insightful, just like his first book.



  1. The War of Art – Book Club | Blue Twig Studio - October 4, 2015

    […] recently read “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield for our book club. I know we have read this book before, but it is one of those books that I think you need to re-read every now and then (at least I […]


  2. The War of Art – Book Club | Blue Twig Studio - October 4, 2015

    […] recently read “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield for our book club. I know we have read this book before, but it is one of those books that I think you need to re-read every now and then (at least I […]


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