For anyone who notices RESISTANCE cropping up (that’s all of us!!) any time we try to do something creative, the book “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield is a must read. Read on for my book review…
1. What drew you to this book?
I first came across the book on a list of recommended reads from a business course that I was taking. The book came up in conversation a few times and it was described to me as a ‘must read’ for writers and entrepreneurs. Since I tick both those boxes, I reckoned I might get something from it! I had read other books on writing in the past and had gone beyond the doubt of ‘who am I to write?’. However, sitting down to crank out 90,000 words or so in the form of a book, is a daunting process. I was hoping that this book, The War of Art, would help me with the process of writing.
2. What are a few take away messages that can be put into practice?
Firstly, the book really helped me to recognize the resistance that we feel and the myriad of thoughts that show up, any time we try to do something creative. There really is no end to them. I’ve found it humorous to take notes daily of the distractions and thoughts that come up. The key message in the book is to keep doing your creative work and to recognize resistance, just for what it is.
The next key point is absolutely to get organized, disciplined and like a ‘pro’ about creative work. The book really hit home about this and it certainly was a game changer in my mind-set. Of course everything flows from there. Showing up and creating or writing becomes so much easier when we begin to feel more ‘professional’ than flapping around on the side-lines.
The last part of the book really resonated for me. It’s about moving into that space where we really are doing what we were born to do when we create. Whatever our gift, life is more fulfilling when we use our gifts. It’s also not a selfish thing, our purpose in life is to share our gifts with the world. This part of the book allowed me to sink into that space of “do what you love” and of course the whole book has been a huge help in being able to “love what you do” and breaking down or winning against my own resistance.
3. How do you feel this book has helped you within your business?
It’s a very interesting read, it’s not so much the 10-step plan. The book is about one word – resistance. It’s a book that you absorb. It’s the type of book that you can pick up at any stage, open a page or flick though a few. It will likely contain some nuggets to get you moving in your creative project again. I did read the book cover to cover, twice. Reading this book helped me recognize the resistance that we battle with, just as sure as we breathe, when we are trying to do anything creative.
Writing a book and setting up my own business are prime examples of what raises the inner barriers to creativity. Learning from this book how resistance comes up and how to deal with the thoughts and get beyond it has helped me show up daily and just do the work and writing I need to do. I believe that’s what’s made it different and something that I now thoroughly enjoy. Many people see it as a struggle or hard work.
Your business becomes an adventure and something you can truly enjoy creating – once you know that it is only resistance that’s between you and your dream.
4. Who would you recommend this book to?
I have recommended it to fellow writers, wanna be writers and entrepreneurs that I coach who need to understand the mind-monkeys of resistance.
Most of us have two lives. The life we life and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.
-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art