I have recently become unemployed. The funding for my position ended, so I was unfortunately let go. Alex and I had spent many hours talking about what I wanted to do to fill my time. I have Grace to take care of, but I feel like I need a little something on the side to work towards. A non-baby goal if you will.
We talked about a part time job, learning a new language, and even volunteering. But the one thing that seemed to excite me the most was doing something creative. It also scared the crap out of me. What if no one likes what I created? What if its all a big waste of time?
That’s when Alex suggested I read The War of Art. He already had it on the Kindle so I didn’t even have to wait for a library copy.
I spent a good portion of the first part of the book mentally arguing with Pressfield. Illnesses aren’t cured by painting. I’m not a horrible person for liking beer and hanging out with my friends. He seemed to demonize anything other than the “work.” I didn’t (and still don’t) agree with most of what he says, but the over all theme of the first part is “don’t let distractions happen” which I can get behind.
The second portion of the book was what a person needs to do/think in order to make their art their life. It held a lot of good pointers and ideas for people who want to start, or get better, at something in life.
The third part of the book is where he really lost me. Okay, I get it. Muses and angels are something you believe in. Please stop trying to ram it down my throat.
Overall I think that its a good inspiring read for someone who wants to make their artwork a centerpiece of their life. For everyone else, its a good view into how to get rid of pesky distractions and focus on what’s really important. Just as long as you don’t take everything Pressfield says literally, you can make it through this book.
The one good take away that I got from this book was that I just need to do what I want to do. Make things for the sake of making them, not for other people. Which is what I needed to hear to get my ass in gear.