The War of Art

“The professional learns to recognize envy-driven criticism and to take it for what it is: the supreme compliment. The critic hates most that which he would have done himself if he had had the guts.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

“It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

“To labor in the arts for any reason other than love is prostitution.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

“The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

“The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling. If you don’t believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

If you’ve read all of those quotes you should have no problem figuring out what they all have in common. They’re all from the same book. A book called, (obviously) The War of Art.  It’s a book that I’ve recommended time after time to other writers and artists, although I have yet to hear back from any of them as to whether or not they’ve read it. While I can’t be certain, if I had to wager money on it I’d bet they haven’t because they’ve not talked about it. Here’s the thing about this book. Once you read it you are filled with a burning NEED to talk about it. Those who have read it, if the message has touched them, actively seek out other people who’ve read it or enthusiastically recommend it.

Perhaps I am putting too much on this book, but I don’t think so. It’s no understatement that this book changed my life when it comes to writing and creating.  A few years ago I was in a place where I was unable to finish anything. I would start, stop, reread, tell myself it was all garbage and go back to either start something new, or not try at all. I was filled with fear of showing my work to anyone. I’d make excuses as to why I wasn’t doing it but when it came down to it, really, I was just plain scared. I would say things like, ‘my work is just for me’.  Translation: I’m too frightened of being judged.  I’m certainly no Shakespeare but I produce. I finish. I do my work and ‘let the rewards come or not come, whatever they like’.  

I don’t know Stephen Pressfield, although I’m obviously an enthusiastic recommender of his books, so nobody is coercing me to say this of course. But I see my fellow Indies struggling and I know that if a lot of them read this book they’d at least have clarity. An artist never stops struggling, but what you are struggling for can make all the difference. I know we Indies also have a thing about not paying more than $2.99 for an eBook for some reason. This eBook is $7.75 and worth every red cent of it. Honestly, you’ll read it and shake your head at what a steal that price even is. Don’t believe me? Go read all the five star reviews!

If you consider yourself an artist at all, please, go read it. If you don’t want to pay for it at least see if your local library has a copy. When you do read it, I’ll be here. Come find me and we’ll talk.

 

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