The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Projects you want to do but can’t get started on?
Peeved with yourself because of the above?
Pressfield has written the book for you.
If you’ve ever spent an hour or two scrolling through blogposts about procrastination (who, me?) instead of starting on a project you need or want to do, then this is the book for you.
Steven Pressfield has a name for all the excuses, justifications, and rationalizations—both conscious and subconscious—which we use to justify why we “can’t” do something.
He calls it Resistance.
While he uses writing as an example of how resistance sabotages our plans, it’s applicable to anything we want to do, be it starting a new exercise regime or a new business.
Pressfield is tough and raw, but also kind and nonjudgmental. He’s been there. He’s speaking from experience. In the first part of the book he lists every form of Resistance out there. He sees through all the bullshit. His own and mine and probably yours as well.
Some forms of Resistance are obvious and others are pretty sneaky. I recognized so many that I literally felt my cheeks grow hot from embarrassment while I read this book. It was as though he saw right through me. He’s funny though, and I laughed even while my face burned.
In the second part of the book he explains how to combat Resistance, overcome possible pitfalls along the way, and, most importantly, how to develop a professional mindset about whatever it is you want to do.
The third part, where he talks about angels and muses, I see as a metaphor for what starts happening in your mind when you do finally take action on your projects. Ideas beget more ideas, and inspiration does come when you actually start working. This doesn’t mean it’s still not difficult or slow going, but it sure does feel better than postponing everything to “someday.” And I say this because I am convinced that this book played a role in getting me to finally sit down (nearly) every day and finish my own novel.
Just be warned:
Once you’ve read The War of Art, you are literally out of excuses, and that’s a scary and naked feeling.
But still, don’t procrastinate on buying the book… ;-)