Book Review: The War of Art


I think everyone would agree the practice of counseling is an art, not a science. To take that one step further, the practice of building a private counseling practice is also an art (which is one of the reasons we created this website, to help you create your art).

This book review is about Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read (and I read a lot). He addresses the root cause of procrastination, failure, the voices in our head, justification, and many other ways we sabotage our dreams. Resistance is the culprit, and he writes in such a way that the reader feels both a kick in the pants, and a gentle nudging towards the freedom to create.

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

There are lots of people I interact with that don’t consider themselves an artist, and perhaps you are one of those people. I think we tend to too narrowly define art as something someone does with paint, music, or poetry. But the reality is this: Art is the act of creating. All who create are artists, but so many people sell themselves short because of limits they’ve self imposed. This is the nature of resistance: to keep one stuck in the familiar tug-of-war with change. Or said another way: The known enemy is always preferable to the unknown enemy.

The chapters are short, sometimes not even a full page. It’s an easy read, and yet, due to the challenging nature of the topic, not an easy read. This is a book that can be read in one sitting or used as a reference of sorts to be picked up at any time you feel resistance showing up in your life. Even if you don’t consider yourself one who creates art, this book needs to be on your bookshelf.

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