top of page

THE WAR OF ART - By Steven Pressfield

Book One

  • Theres a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: Its not the writing part thats hard. Whats hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.

  • Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet.

  • Do we have to stare death in the face to make us stand up and confront Resistance?

  • The enemy is a very good teacher. -Dalai Lama


  • invisible

  • internal

  • insidious

  • Implacable

  • Impersonal - it is a force of nature

  • Infallible

  • 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.

  • Universal

  • Never sleeps

  • Plays for keeps

  • Fueled by fear

  • Only opposes in one direction

  • Most powerful at the finish line

  • Recruits Allies

  • Resistance by definition is self- sabotage

  • sabotage by others

  • The best and only thing that one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.

  • Procrastination

  • Sex

  • Trouble - cheap way to get attention

  • Self-Dramatization

  • Self-medication

  • Victimhood

  • The Choice of a Mate

  • Unhappiness

  • Fundamentalism

  • The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery.

  • While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.

  • Criticism

  • Self-Doubt

  • The counterfeit innovator is widely self-confident. The real one is scared to death.

  • Fear

  • Love

  • Being A Star

  • Isolation

  • Healing

  • Support

  • Rationalization

  • Can be beaten

Book Two

Combatting Resistance - Turning Pro

  • The amateur plays for fun. The professional plays for keeps.

  • Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. "I write only when inspiration strikes," he replied. "Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp."

  • I'm keenly aware of the Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what's important first.

  • So you're taking a few blows. Thats the price for being in the arena and not on the sidelines. Stop complaining and be grateful."

  • For love of the game - play for money

  • To the gods the supreme sin is not rape or murder, but pride.

A Professional

  • Patient