Book Review – the WAR of ART by Steven Pressfield

 I bought the WAR of ART out of curiosity – not because I have stumbled onto Pressfield and his website and Writing Wednesdays blog posts. In fact, I ignored it for a while. Then I started to notice that many writers I admire mentioned it or its concepts, or quoted it. Despite the fact that I am usually disappointed by books on writing and often find them to be ‘nothing burgers’ I found a used copy of War of Art and bought it.

(the book was) Definitely not what I expected.

For those who are looking for a definitive ‘you fit slot a into slot b’ type of advice, this book is not for you. You will not find methods of writing faster, or exercises to break writer’s block, or prompts to inspire your imagination.

To me, the book was about the soul of writing. What it does to your soul and what it will do to your soul if you ignore your calling. It is not practical advice, it is metaphysical advice. It is not food for the mind but food for the soul.

the WAR of ART was what I needed to read at that moment. It was serendipity. It was the shift in perspective that I needed to make.

(as a side benefit) It also answered questions that had driven me up the wall.

I am glad I bought it and read it. I am changed because I did.

If you are looking for answers to the deeper questions not just about writing but about art, about your place as an artist, about submerging into your art, this book may be for you. If you are looking for a nuts and bolts, just the facts, and tell me what to do” kind of writing book, then you probably won’t appreciate this book.

My rating is five stars but it’s subjective – I don’t know if it will help you – I do know it helped me.

Good hunting, Annie

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