My Must Reads – The War of Art

“There is 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.” Steven Pressfield.

war of artI read a lot of books. Fiction, non-fiction, science, self-help, mysteries, romance, writing, westerns. Lots and lots of books. But of the hundreds of books I read every year only one has changed my life in ways that resonates in everything I do. That book is the The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

This book is not long and the chapters are very short. Many of the chapters are one page or less. But the motivation found on these pages is greater than the sum of the words.

It needs to be great because we are fighting a war, a war against the resistance that infects us all. Resistance grows when we don’t do things we are passionate about. When we settle for average resistance rejoices. We all have to fight resistance every day and every day we wish it could be easy.

But if it was easy than resistance would win and the world would be a less happy place, a less remarkable place. So we fight. If we are lucky we find a guide that helps us succeed in our war against the mediocre. This book is my guide. When I am afraid to write what I am dying to write I pick up this book and turn to a random page. I’ll do it right now.

“Self-doubt can be an ally. This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration…The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. the real one is scared to death.” pg. 39

Okay, I’m supposed to be scared, but I am supposed to write anyway. And I do.

This book is not just for writers. It is for anyone who has a passion but is unable to take the first step. It is for anyone who is dealing with overwhelming resistance. This book is not expensive and it is a quick read. Add it to your library and see if it changes how you approach your life.

“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” – Steven Pressfield.