The War of Art – Book Review

13 Feb / James Eastham

The Blurb

Think of The War of Art as tough love… for yourself.

Since 2002, The War of Art has inspired people around the world to defeat “Resistance”; to recognize and knock down dream-blocking barriers and to silence the naysayers within us. Resistance kicks everyone’s butt, and the desire to defeat it is equally as universal. The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. Though it was written for writers, it has been embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, military service members and thousands of others around the world.

Taken from Amazon UK 

Key Quotes

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

“The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we’re about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got.”

“The sign of the amateur is overglorification of and preoccupation with the mystery. The professional shuts up. She doesn’t talk about it. She does her work.”

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.”

Want my quick 2 cents?

A book that doesn’t really need any kind of introduction. Well known as the bible of beating procrastination. Infinitely quotable and filled with tit-bits of information that you’ll find yourself referring back to days and weeks later.

The best way for me to get across how much I enjoyed this book?

The second I finished it, I flipped straight back to the start and began again!

Interested to read more…

If you’re a creative or into self-improvement, The War of Art should be number one on your Christmas list. Stephen Pressfield talks about the ‘resistance’. The overwhelming force that stops you from doing whatever your lives true calling is. The most common manifestation being procrastination. He does also detail some of the more ninja-like ways in which resistance appears, some of which are quite surprising. Have you ever thought that your friends and family could be the single biggest thing getting in the way of you and your goals?

After summarising the ways in which resistance presents itself, Stephen digs into beating it. The tips and tricks you can use to get past and continue towards your goals. One of the quotes that really stood out to me is:

Like a magnetised needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North – meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing
Stephen Pressfield, The War of Art

Applying that to your whole life is a sure fire way to find your true calling. Something tells you not to go in a certain direction? Does some excuse pop into your head as to why not? That’s resistance, follow it!


The book is split down into 3 books: Resistance, Combating Resistance and Beyond Resistance. Broadly speaking, these cover what resistance is, how to beat it and what to do once you have beaten it. Each chapter is split into really small sub-chapters, each tackling a different theme.

The Author

Stephen Pressfield is more traditionally a fiction writer, with titles such as The Legend of Bagger Vance (Will Smith and Matt Damon starred in the movie adaptation). A lot of his books are centred around Ancient Greece, telling the stories of the Greeks through fiction. He is so well revered in Greece, the town of Sparta made him an honorary citizen! Not a bad claim to fame.

His writing style is great, I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest read in terms of language used. But once you are used to how he gets his point across it gets much easier.

In Summary

Not much of a summary required for this book. I’d be very shocked if this doesn’t become my most read book of all time. After getting halfway through it the second time around I’ve already picked up a tonne more content. Get to wherever you read your books and pick it up right now, go on… Now!

Buy on Amazon

The war of art book cover

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