2002, Books, Non-Fiction

The War of Art (2002) by Steven Pressfield

I don’t for a minute believe anything Steven Pressfield says about the nature of our universe or the nature of inspiration. Like so many “self help” books, Pressfield’s advice is founded on a completely unsupportable metaphysic – I find myself utterly disagreeing and rejecting his metaphysics while finding his practical advise utterly useful and inspirational. (I have this experience so many times with these books – can’t stand the foundation but understand and appreciate the practical advice. It’s unfortunate that so often good, practical advice has to come with a philosophical foundation that is based in unreality.)

I guess Pressfield’s ideas about the universe and existence are a necessary noble lie for many people – no doubt Pressfield himself – in order to convince himself and his readers of the value of his advice. Because I honestly don’t know why all this bullshit is necessary to get to the very simple message of this book: in order to be a successful artist, you usually need to be professional. And this is something I was sort of aware of, but I need someone like Pressfield to kick my ass and remind me of that. Yes, Pressfield is privileged that he can write 5 hours a day and not have to worry about a job, but he seems to have even done similar activities when he couldn’t do that. I want to take his advice wholly to heart but I know I will struggle with it and I can see myself reading this book multiple times over the next few years as I struggle to become more and more of a professional about my writing.

A must read for anyone who procrastinates.


  • Author Steven Pressfield
  • Original title The War of Art
  • Publisher Black Irish Books
  • Publication date: 2002
  • ISBN: 978-1-936891-02-3
  • Followed by Do The Work

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