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The War of Art Summary

Here’s The War of Art summary. This will inspire you to express your creativity. You will realize how to overcome “resistance” in creating wonderful work for yourself and others.


The War of Art author Steven Pressfield provides unique ways to overcome resistance. He provides a guide on how you can fulfill your potential as a human being.

You will learn that the goal is find out who we already are and become it. We always have choices but we still have to express our creativity through our work.

About the Author

Steven Pressfield writes nonfiction and historical fiction. Aside from The War of Art, his other works are The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, and Tides of War.

His first novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, was adapted for movie. It stars Will Smith, Matt Damon, and Charlize Theron. It was directed by Robert Redford.

Main takeaways: The War of Art Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from his book:

  1. Resistance is the enemy.
  2. Treat your dream like a full-time job.
  3. Avoid much rationalizing.

Resistance is the enemy

This “resistance” is what keeps us from expressing our creativity. Where does it come from? Is it from our parents, our environment, the weather?

No. It comes from within us. You know that feeling when you wake up and suddenly you’re compelled to create something. But then we just shrug it off. We say that we’re busy. Or we think that it’s just a passing feeling.

But if we explore further, it’s our urge to create. We need to express ourselves through our work. Here’s the thing. Resistance comes in and fabricates all kinds of excuses.

Resistance often comes in the form of procrastination and self-doubt. Everyone struggles with Resistance, so don’t worry. And some people have already found ways to defeat self-doubt and procrastination.

Treat your dream like a full-time job

Act like a professional. If you want to pursue your dream, you have to set aside time and resources for it.

Just like with your full-time job, be prompt. Show up at the same time every day. You don’t wait to get inspired before going to work. You just sit down and get started.

Action and commitment are the best ways to defeat self-doubt and procrastination. If you’re busy with your dream, there’s not much time for doubt to creep in.

Starting today, set aside time for your creative work. Do it every day. Make it a part of you. Set up routines. That way you won’t ever have to think about whether you should work or not. You will have more willpower reserved for doing the actual work.

Avoid much rationalizing

Rationalization will at times stop you into doing your work. If you think much, that’s less time for action. Worse is doubt will creep in.

Rationalization is another way how Resistance shows. You will think that you don’t have enough talent. You will think that other people are doing much better than you.

Forget about your thoughts. Focus instead on doing your work. If you always work, you get a better chance of improving your craft. Improvements will accumulate and help you succeed.

Forget about the petty things. Forget the small quarrels, those negative thoughts, and other stuff. Those will only hinder you from expressing your creativity.

Aside from learning about Resistance and how to overcome it, you will also learn the following from The War of Art:

  • Why you should show up every day
  • Respecting your craft
  • How to think of critics
  • Thinking of yourself as a corporation
  • Your creative work is a gift to the world

My personal takeaways

I’ve learned that the Resistance is real. Almost daily, it tries to stop me from doing any creative work. I felt doubt and looked for how to procrastinate whenever I had to express my creativity.

I also felt guilty. Other people of my own age are doing great work. But I was still afraid. Criticisms and failures. I fear those words.

But the answers are now clear. I just have to sit down and do my work. I should treat it as a full-time job. I should write at set schedules. I should produce something no matter what.

We know that we have our own contributions to give to the world. We should start right now. If we start early, we will have lots of time to improve our craft. Then we’ll give much more to the world.

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