Discerning Reader Editorial Review
Reviewed 04/20/2010 by Chad Vandervalk.
Recommended. Though not explicitly Christian, an excellent motivator to write in the face of Resistance.
There are many times when I sit down to write and simply draw a blank. I stare at the blank page or screen and start to sweat. Really! So, I get up, get myself a coffee, check email once more, maybe look over at facebook for a while. I even started playing those extremely time consuming and demanding games in which you run a farm or a cafe. Essentially I would find all kinds of things to do to avoid sitting in front of that blank page or screen and doing my work. Even stooping to writing book reviews.
As I started reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, I became more and more aware of my own tendency to procrastinate, or, as he puts it, to give into Resistance.
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.
Pressfield argues that the biggest threat to the realisation of our dreams and goals is not a lack of talent or ideas, but a lack of will to beat Resistance. This book is broken up into three sections: Book One outlines what Resistance is and how it works to defeat us, Book Two outlines how we can combat resistance to turn professional in our creative work, and Book Three moves us beyond Resistance to the higher realm where we can come in contact with the source of our creativity.
This is not a Christian book, though Pressfield does say he believes in God. This is a book which is designed to help those who desire to be creative to overcome their own blocks. It is an invaluable resource to understanding and defeating the things in our lives that desire us to remain the way we are. In many ways the Christian could see Resistance as a personification of our own sinful nature and/or the evil one. A force which desires to stop us from changing, growing, and creating beautiful things.
This book is chockfull of incredible advice and encouragement to move us past our own rationalisations to a place where God can work in and through us. The book jacket sums it up best:
In this powerful, straight-from-the-hip examination of the internal obstacles to success, bestselling author Steven Pressfield shows readers how to identify, defeat, and unlock the inner barriers to creativity. THE WAR OF ART is an inspirational, funny, well-aimed kick in the pants guaranteed to galvanise every would-be artist, visionary, or entrepreneur.
If you desire to do something different in your life or your job, I cannot recommend this book more.
Editor's note: some readers may be offended by the phrasing of Esquire Magazine's endorsement on the front cover.