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The War of Art

The War of Art

July 6, 2019 12:03 pm0 comments

I just finished Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, and if there’s any book that has knocked me on my ass more in the last decade I can’t think of it.

It’s a hard book to read because it tears you apart — it calls you out for the phony you are, you who presume to be a writer, a musician, an artist, who does no such writing or music or art. It slashes your ego and makes you consider that all the reasons you refuse to move forward with your project are just excuses, and bad ones at that.

It’s also an honest book, written by an author who spent decades struggling to become the writer he knew he could be. He lived the war he writes about with brutal candor.

It makes me think about the way I tried to break myself out of [what he calls, and what I now shall call] The Resistance by writing one blog post per day, and how I copped out after 112 days not because I didn’t have anything to write, but because I didn’t have the discipline to open my laptop and write it.

I perpetually have 2-3 projects outside of my ‘real job’ that I have yet to get off the ground, and there’s no reason for that other than myself.

But this isn’t self flagellation. It’s human nature to encounter fear, especially when faced with the fear of what one might accomplish (Pressfield calls the Fear of Success more terrifying than the Fear of Failure). I’m OK with the choices I have made. The only thing that matters is where to go from here: what am I capable of doing, and what am I going to do to get it done?

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