Thursday, July 27, 2017

Book Review: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

My Reading Journey

A while ago I created a new page on my blog: My Reading Journey. On this page I’m keeping track of the books I read throughout the year. There are around a dozen books on it that I read in previous years. Starting this year, and maybe I’ll cover a few other books I already read, I’m going to do a short review of the books. Or at least the ones that are related to my professional career.

I recently completed reading The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield.

My 3-word summary: Beating resistance & procrastination


The War of Art tries to help readers overcome Resistance. It comes in many flavors as you can see in the mind map I created. The author gives various ways of beating through this resistance and ultimately getting things done. - Book review The War of Art


I really liked the book, especially the first two parts of the book where resistance is explained and what I can do to beat resistance and turn into a pro. I think I already am a pro… in procrastination. I have to be honest and admit that many of the properties of resistance where quite familiar to me.
Since I started planning my daily activities a bit more I see I can be much more productive. Also focus on finishing one task at a time. Just set out what you want to achieve for the day and work towards that with priorities. You can use the Pomodoro technique if that works for you, I use Pomodairo for that. But the point is: just use anything that makes you more productive, whether it’s a tool, a framework or just common sense.

In the third part the author gives his opinion as to what he believes is the reason that I can overcome my fears.At some points he lost me a little bit, just because I don’t think there’s anything “in a higher realm”.


Steven Pressfield also wrote Do the Work and Turning Pro, similar books to this, all centered around the topics of resistance, prioritization, creativity and empowerment, although this was his first nonfiction book. He wrote quite a few novels before this one (e.g. The Legend of Bagger Vance was adapted for screen, starring Matt Damon, Will Smith and Charlize Theron a.o.).
The title is not to be confused with The Art of War, written by Sun Tzu in the 6th century BC which is said by many to be the decisive work on military strategies and tactics of its time.

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