Last week I finished the book “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield. This book is unlike others that I have read in relation to what it takes to make a creative habit stick, to put aside all of the noise this world surrounds us with, what our minds convince us of, and what it truly takes to allow our craft to settle in and reveal itself. This book speaks to all artists, entrepreneurs, or anyone with a truly big idea that they want to see come to life.
The book is split into three different sections: Resistance, Combating Resistance – Turning Pro, and Beyond Resistance – Higher Realm. Each contain affirmations that you can turn to whenever you need inspiration, encouragement, and a kick in the ass. Within the sections their are individual nuggets of information, anecdotes, or sentences that could become mantras in your everyday practice.
Here are my favorite quotes from each section. I hope these give you motivation to pick up a copy of this book yourself!
- “Resistance by definition is self-sabotage.” p. 19
- “There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny .” p. 22
- Fear tells us what we have to do.” p. 40
Combating Resistance: Turing Pro
- “The professional loves her work. She is invested in it wholeheartedly. But she does not forget that the work is not her. Her artistic self contains many works and many performances.” p. 88
- There’s no mystery to turning pro. It’s a decision brought about by an act of will.” p. 101
- But the most important thing about art is to work.” p. 108
Beyond Resistance- Higher Realm
- “The Mother of all fears that is so close to us that even when we verbalize it we don’t believe it. Fear That We Will Succeed.” p. 142-143
- “When the artist works territorially she reveres heaven. She aligns herself with the mysterious forces that power the universe and that seek, through her, to bring forth new life.” p. 156
- “Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” p. 165
The last section in this book is spiritual in nature. The author believes a divine entity is responsible for the inspiration that causes creation within us. He refers to God, Muses, Divinity, and the Universe. I did not know how much I resonated with this idea until I realized that I have no true attachment to my paintings when they are finished. By the time I am finished with one, I am already thinking about the next, and so on. I want others to enjoy my paintings, I already enjoyed the process of creating.
Cheers to this book and all of its thought provoking insight!