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The War of Art

I just started listening in my car to an audio version of the book The War of Art (a clever spin on Sun Tzu’s classic Art of War) So far I’ve only heard the first disc, and I’ve listened to it twice!! though I just got it yesterday!!

Such good stuff. This is the second great resource I’ve come upon in recent weeks, the other being The Courage to Teach.

The War of Art is (so far)about resistance– resisting sitting down to write, or standing up to paint, and more. The author Steven Pressfield views all reluctance to do the best right thing as resistance, a force like gravity that we simply need to acknowledge and persevere in spite of. The way I’m saying it sounds dreadfully pious and unappealing. But hearing it on this audio really has me excited.

The metaphor of one large thing that mindlessly sits on my efforts to get off of the sofa works startlingly well for me. I always knew something was there, Jello-like, trying to stop me. I didn’t connect it with the same force that says: I’ll check my email instead of working on my novel.

Pressfield says the resistance tends to strike when we approach getting down to work on art, a spiritual practice, any health improvement, or strengthening abdominal muscles.

He says –and, oh, I agree — that the big R can take a wickedly beguiling variety of forms including lawyerly logic. And whatever form it is: “resistance always lies…is always full of shit.”

(Thanks to Thomas Griggs for letting me know about this book/CD.)

BTW, Pressfield writes bestsellers, frequently about warfare (also The Legend of Bagger Vance) I’d say, in his case, resistance doesn’t stand a chance.

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Categories: courage, creative strategy, fear

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