Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

At War With Ourselves . . .

I’ve begun reading a book that can help writers, as well as any other creative person; as well as, anyone, who may think they’re not creative at all, bring their creativity into the light of day

All of us have a certain degree of creative potential—few of us use it efficaciously

There are many theories out there that attempt to explain why people don’t, or think they can’t, use their creative gifts.

But, descriptions of “why” aside, what happens is:

We have anything from a neat idea to a major endeavor strike our minds

We toy with it, play with it, maybe jot down some notes, perhaps draw up a plan

Then, we don’t do it.

What’s wrong with us?

Why do we treat ourselves this way?

What can we do about it?

Perhaps, read this book:

Steven Pressfield‘s   The War Of Art

Folks have said:

“Think of The War of Art as tough love—for yourself.

“Since 2002, The War of Art has inspired people around the world to defeat “Resistance”—to recognize and knock down dream-blocking barriers and to silence the naysayers within us.

“Resistance kicks everyone’s butt—and the desire to defeat it is equally as universal. The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

“Though it was written for writers, it has been embraced by business entrepreneurs, actors, dancers, painters, photographers, filmmakers, military service members and thousands of others around the world.”

“As I closed The War of Art, I felt a surge of positive calm. I now know I can win this war. And if I can win, so can you.”
From the foreword by Robert McKee, screenwriting guru

“[The War of Art] aims to help readers channel creative energy, unlock potential and overcome the fears that stop us from reaching our fullest potential. With courage, following the right formula and working hard, the book proposes that passion can be turned into purpose.”
Ellen Degeneres book pick

” Resistance is the voice in the back of our head telling us to back off, be careful, go slow, compromise. . . . [Steve Pressfield is] the godfather of the resistance, the five-star general in the war against fear.”
Seth Godin

“A vital gem . . . a kick in the ass.”

“I’ve never read a self help book that wasn’t fatuous, obvious and unhelpful. Until The War of Art. It’s amazingly cogent and smart on the psychology of creation. If I ever teach a writing course this would be one of the first books I’d assign, along with the letters of Flannery O’Connor.”
Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and Brightness Falls

“Yes, The War of Art is hell. But Steven Pressfield is our Clausewitz who shows how you too can battle against The Four Horsemen of The Apologetic: sloth, inertia, rationalization and procrastination. Shakespeare, Rembrandt and Beethoven all are proof of what you can do with talent and General Pressfield.”
Frank Deford, author and NPR commentator

“A marvelous help for anybody who has ever encountered the resistance of a blank page, an empty canvas or an unyielding musical scale.”
Stan Berenstain, co-creator of The Berenstain Bears

And, here are just a few quotes from the book:

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”

“It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself,. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.”

Plus, one last Super Quote :-)

“. . . None of us are born as passive generic blobs waiting for the world to stamp its imprint on us. Instead we show up possessing already a highly refined and individuated soul.

“Another way of thinking of it is: We’re not born with unlimited choices.

“We can’t be anything we want to be.

“We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become. We are who we are from the cradle, and we’re stuck with it.

“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”
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2 responses to “At War With Ourselves . . .

  1. Jane Watson January 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks for the information on Steven Pressfield. I just rushed over to Black Irish Books and bought “The War of Art” as an e-book (it is available in every format imaginable). I have long admired quotes from Pressfield that I have seen on the web. Here’s another one from “Do the Work”: “Start before you’re ready…” :-)


  2. Alexander M Zoltai January 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Excellent quote, Jane :-)


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