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I hate war. It’s costly and most of the time, not worth fighting. But here is one war I can get behind.


The War of Art

Two authors, many centuries apart, wrote The Art of War, attributed to Sun-Tzu, in about the 5th century B.C., in China, and The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, published in 2012, in Los Angeles.

The first book is about the kind of warfare where people get physically ended. The second book is about how creative people get emotionally ended.

What kind of choice is this?

I wish war didn’t exist. But it does. You can’t get through a single day without hearing about conflict, whether it’s the gunfire down the street from your house or “over there,” somewhere, like Ukraine.

So, I’m doing my ABCs around the topic of war. You will remember that the ABCs are: Accept; Build; Connect.

The first step is to accept that war exists as part of the human condition. And yes, you could argue that I should not accept that war exists. But consider this: until you accept the facts, it’s very difficult to move forward. You spin and spin, wishing that things were different (sound familiar?) And you don’t make meaningful progress. You mostly regress into the Sift or the Drift.

If you review the human scene since the dawn of time, there has always been war. I can find no way around the fact that some kind of war is an inevitable part of the human experience. 

The choice, then, becomes what kind of war am I willing to be a part of?

I choose the war of art.

What is the war of art?

The war of art is the epic struggle to make room for your creative genius in a world that tells you to live a “normal” life (which is often associated with something other than a focused effort to create).

The enemy in this war is Resistance. Which recently has been made to sound like something noble. And in some venues, resistance is indeed good (as in the French Resistance during WWII, or resistance to tyranny anywhere, any time).

However, in the war of art, Resistance, is, as Pressfield says:

“… not a peripheral opponent. Resistance arises from within. It is self-generated and self-perpetuated. Resistance is the enemy within.”

In other words, when we, as creative men, are doing our level best to engage in creative endeavors, we are simultaneously engaged in an internal war against the Resistance that would keep us from producing our best creative work. 

“Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize. We don’t tell ourselves, “I’m never going to write my symphony.” Instead we say, “I am going to write my symphony; I’m just going to start tomorrow.”


Steven Pressfield, The War of Art 

How do you fight Resistance?

Please watch this brief (about 20 minutes) talk on how to fight fight the Resistance that would keep you from your best work. Then, come right back for today’s Takeaway.

The takeaway:

Keep showing up. Even when you don’t feel like it, make room for the Muse. It’s good for you and for all of us who need what you bring on your best, creative day.

Read more.

More like this?

I can help you discover, develop, and share your unique gift.

And you have a couple of options for your next step. You could contact me and describe what you’re going through. And I’ll be in touch with suggestions. Or you can book a free session to make a time to get together and talk it over in person. Either way, I’m here to help you focusovercome resistance, and get moving again.