Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Pressfield's War

I've just finished re-reading Steven Pressfield's War of Art for the third time. It seems I return to it every 12 months to give myself the necessary creative kick in the arse to get myself motivated and lift my self belief past the level of getting out of bed in the mornings. The War of Art is subtitled Break Through the Block and Win Your Inner Creative Battles and is divided up into three sections:
   1. Resistance - Defining the Enemy
   2. Combating Resistance - Turning Pro
   3. Beyond Resistance - Higher Realm

Pressfield's work had impressed me the first time round when I read it in 2009. Since then its been on constant loan to friends except when I'm re-reading it.  I had never really warmed to his third section on my first two readings. This reading I found the final section (where he introduces the idea of the Divine Muse) the most useful and the most challenging, with none of my previous reservations and hesitations. Lately, I have been feeling a little like Jesus' third servant in the parable where the money/talent is buried and the servant is called into answer for his inaction. Pressfield has helped awaken that sense of responsibility - so let's hope we see some more creative activity and actual physical production in the coming weeks/months.

I've also read Pressfield's earlier books - the golfing novel/movie Legend of Bagger Vance (which he tells the story of in this book) and his military/historical work on the Battle of Thermoplylae Gates of Fire, - both I found entertaining and challenging as well.  If you haven't come across The War of Art yet, seek the book out. Its a very easy read, large print and you should be able to work through it quickly. I'd recommend it to anyone engaged in any sort of creative work. If you're suffering from roadblocks and obstacles, Pressfield may be what you need to galvanise yourself into action.

Burn brightly, Pete

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