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Releasing Your Inner Creativity

Releasing Your Inner Creativity
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Book Review: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Author: Steven Pressfield
165 pages, Black Irish Entertainment LLC, $12.95

Is fear holding you back from pursuing you dreams? In The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, Steven Pressfield shows readers how to identify, defeat, and unlock the inner barriers of creativity. Esquire calls Pressfield’s book, “A vital gem…[and] a kick in the ass,” and that is absolutely accurate. This book is full of insights from a former marine who has made three different career changes, written novels, and worked in Hollywood. However, don’t let the title fool you! This book is not only for artists like painters, writers, or musicians, this book is for anyone looking to do something more with their life but are being held back something.

For Pressfield, creativity is not limited to artists. Creativity is the act of creating something– whether that something is creating a business or becoming a parent. The problem with trying to create something new is that we often get in our own way. We blame our hesitation on family issues, the economy, our health, and more. Pressfield defines this hesitation as “resistance.” This resistance comes in many forms and attempts to keep you comfortable, and keep you from taking the leap to something better. Like you, Pressfield has hit walls before, but has pushed through even with the possibility of failure because he knew he would never succeed if he did not try.

Have you always wanted to start your own business but never even tried because you were too afraid of failure? Are you a housewife who wants to rejoin the workforce? If you were the last person on earth, what activity would you continue to do? These are the types of questions Pressfield wants you to think about as you read through his book. The War of Art is broken down into three sections: Book 1: Resistance, Book 2: Combating Resistance, and Book 3: Beyond Resistance. In each of these sections Pressfield helps you realize what has been holding you back and how to push yourself forward. The one thing you must know is YOU must make that change for yourself – you cannot rely on others to do it for you.

The War of Art is the perfect book for people who do not like to read (and for those who do!). Yes, the book is over 100 pages long, but within each section the pages are short and to the point. Pressfield provides a heading for each point he is trying to make; for example, a heading in Book 1 reads, “Resistance and Self Doubt.” Following this heading is a seven sentence paragraph that explains how self-doubt is actually an ally to someone looking to do something more. Pressfield uses informal language and talks directly to his reader because he wants you to feel connected to him.  To help support his argument, Pressfield uses examples from his own life, popular culture, literature and psychology. By the time you finish reading, he’ll have you convinced that you need to start your dream immediately.

Pressfield mentions that moment when a cancer patient discovers he or she is terminally ill and begins to start rethinking their life: I should have spent more time with my family; I should have traveled around the world when I had the chance; instead of fighting with my wife, I could have told her how much I loved her. The thing about cancer is that it can go into remission, but those who have suffered have started to change the way they view life. Do not wait until it is too late to make a change. Now is the time when you can start making your dreams a reality. Still having doubts? Order your copy of Pressfield’s The War of Art today. You will not regret it!

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