The War of Art

Steven Pressfield

The War of Art



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The War of Art is a book dedicated to all of the writers who do not write, to the painters who do not paint, and to the entrepreneurs who haven’t started a business. Steven Pressfield seeks to remind everybody who feels that they have a creative streak, a good idea, or a script to finish, but still haven't got around to working on it, that it does not come down to talent - or even, a lack thereof: we all have a purpose for which we came into the world, and, in order to fulfill this purpose, we must undergo the bloodiest, most arduous, and longest battle we will ever face, to then come out victorious. This battle is fought against the Resistance: an invisible and self-generated force, which can take many forms, such as that of self-sabotage, procrastination, and victimisation. The key to staying on the right path is learning to thwart the various guises that the Resistance assumes, and to start thinking as a professional, which will put you in a position whereby you will be able to hear the voice of the Muses, and fulfill your purpose in all its power and beauty.

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Analysis and key concepts


You must see the creative battle through to the end


What is the Resistance and why is it so difficult to overcome this toxic force?


How does the Resistance work and who are its allies: what should we fight against?


Procrastination, victimisation, and alcohol abuse as symptoms of Resistance


Fear is our ally and shows us the way forward


Amateurs and professionals: why approach is so important when it comes to achieving a goal


A professional’s characteristics are the means by which they face, and win, the battle


The fine line between a professional and amateur when it comes to their perception of the real world


The professional’s passion, patience, and order bring them closer to their goal


Genes, angels, and muses: who are our allies in fighting the Resistance?


Start working and move towards your goal with the favour of the Muses


Failure to fulfill our purpose has negative physical consequences


Breaking down the Ego to reach the authentic Self




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Overcome the Resistance – the hidden force that we must face when embarking upon an artistic, physical, or personal development project.
  • Learn to address the subconscious mechanisms that block creativity and prevent you from completing your projects.
  • Approach your purpose in life in a “professional” way, following your passions and your calling.

Steven Pressfield is originally from Trinidad and Tobago, and has been an honourary citizen of Sparta, Greece, since 2003. He is a former marine, and has written numerous historical novels, almost all set in ancient times,  such as Gates of Fire, Tides of War, The Virtues of War, and The Afghan Campaign. He also wrote a novel about golf, The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was adapted into the 2000 film of the same name, directed by Robert Redford, as well as writing other scripts and screenplays for cinema. The English edition of his latest novel, A Man at Arms: A Novel, was released in early April 2021.

Publishing house:

Warner Books