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The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle


Steven Pressfield


Debo admitir que este libro se sintió crudo, a veces sin orden pero con mucha materia en sus conceptos y observaciones.

Este libro trata de la eterna lucha entre la procrastinación y la creación. Habla sobre el enemigo impersonal e incansable llamado Resistencia y nuestro propio deseo por querer crear.

Es una obra sobre la creatividad personal y cómo debemos nutrirla, el autor habla de ángeles y musas y otros seres del imaginario que se deben tomar por reales. Habla sobre esto en los últimos capítulos.

Para mi el mensaje ha sido; crea, da tus obras al mundo, no importa que sean malas o no sean lo que otras personas quieran pero pon tus creaciones a disposición de todos. No te las quedes y no te quedes con el vacío interno de no crear. Crea por el hecho mismo de crear.

Es un libro que vale la pena, tal vez muchas de sus referencias son muy antiguas ya que el autor es una persona mayor y el libro se publicó hace algunos años, pero vale la pena leerlo y leerlo en el futuro porque muchas de sus lecciones no creo que pasen con el tiempo.

Algunas citas

The Unlived Life

  • Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

  • Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.

  • Resistance is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, harder to kick than crack cocaine.

  • If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business.

  • it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas.

Resistance’s Greatest Hits

  • any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity. Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower. Any of these will elicit Resistance.

Resistance Is Insidious

  • Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.

Resistance Is Infallible

  • The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.

Resistance and Procrastination

  • Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize.

Resistance and Procrastination, Part Two

  • There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.

Resistance and Sex

  • this principle applies to drugs, shopping, masturbation, TV, gossip, alcohol, and the consumption of all products containing fat, sugar, salt, or chocolate.

Resistance and Trouble

  • The working artist will not tolerate trouble in her life because she knows trouble prevents her from doing her work.

Resistance and Self-Medication

  • Instead of applying self-knowledge, self-discipline, delayed gratification and hard work, we simply consume a product.

Resistance and Victimhood

  • Casting yourself as a victim is the antithesis of doing your work.

Resistance and Unhappiness

  • We unplug ourselves from the grid by recognizing that we will never cure our restlessness by contributing our disposable income to the bottom line of Bullshit, Inc., but only by doing our work.

Resistance and Fundamentalism

  • Fundamentalism is the philosophy of the powerless, the conquered, the displaced and the dispossessed.

  • There is no such thing as fundamentalist art. This does not mean that the fundamentalist is not creative. Rather, his creativity is inverted. He creates destruction. Even the structures he builds, his schools and networks of organization, are dedicated to annihilation, of his enemies and of himself.

  • Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.

Resistance and Criticism

  • Individuals who are realized in their own lives almost never criticize others.

Resistance and Fear

  • The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

Resistance and Being a Star

  • The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.

Resistance and Rationalization, Part Two

  • Tolstoy had thirteen kids and wrote War and Peace. Lance Armstrong had cancer and won the Tour de France three years and counting.

What A Writer’s Day Feels Like

  • Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.

We’re All Pros Already

  • Resistance knows that the amateur composer will never write his symphony because he is overly invested in its success and overterrified of its failure.

For Love of the Game

  • The seeming detachment of the professional, the cold-blooded character to his demeanor, is a compensating device to keep him from loving the game so much that he freezes in action. Playing for money, or adopting the attitude of one who plays for money, lowers the fever.

A Professional Demystifies

  • The professional masters how, and leaves what and why to the gods.

A Professional Does Not Take Failure (Or Success) Personally

  • The professional cannot take rejection personally because to do so reinforces Resistance.

  • No matter what, I will never let Resistance beat me.

A Professional Endures Adversity

  • The professional endures adversity. He lets the birdshit splash down on his slicker, remembering that it comes clean with a heavy-duty hosing.

Approaching the Mystery

  • the most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.

Invoking the Muse

  • Nobody knew I was done. Nobody cared. But I knew. I felt like a dragon I’d been fighting all my life had just dropped dead at my feet and gasped out its last sulfuric breath.   Rest in peace, motherfucker.

  • I went over to Paul’s for coffee and told him I had finished. “Good for you,” he said without looking up. “Start the next one today.”

Invoking the Muse, Part Two

  • The universe, the Greeks believed, was not indifferent.

The Magic of Making A Start

  • Angel midwives congregate around us; they assist as we give birth to ourselves, to that person we were born to be, to the one whose destiny was encoded in our soul, our daimon, our genius.


  • A voice answered (silently): You’re supposed to learn that things that you think are nothing, as weightless as air, are actually powerful substantial forces, as real and as solid as earth.

Life and Death

  • Other thoughts occur to the patient diagnosed as terminal. What about that gift he had for music? What became of the passion he once felt to work with the sick and the homeless? Why do these unlived lives return now with such power and poignancy?

  • Is it possible, Tom Laughlin asks, that the disease itself evolved as a consequence of actions taken (or not taken) in our lives? Could our unlived lives have exacted their vengeance upon us in the form of cancer? And if they did, can we cure ourselves, now, by living these lives out?

The Ego and the Self

  • The Self wishes to create, to evolve. The Ego likes things just the way they are.

  • All beings are one. If I hurt you, I hurt myself.

Experiencing the Self

  • The instinct that pulls us toward art is the impulse to evolve, to learn, to heighten and elevate our consciousness.

The Authentic Self

  • We’re not born with unlimited choices.   We can’t be anything we want to be.

The Hierarchical Orientation

  • School, advertising, the entire materialist culture drills us from birth to define ourselves by others’ opinions.

  • Drink this beer, get this job, look this way and everyone will love you.

The Artist and the Hierarchy

  • The artist must operate territorially.

  • In the hierarchy, the artist looks up and looks down. The one place he can’t look is that place he must: within.

The Artist and the Territory

  • The artist and the mother are vehicles, not originators.

  • What do I feel growing inside me? Let me bring that forth, if I can, for its own sake and not for what it can do for me or how it can advance my standing.

The Difference Between Territory and Hierarchy

  • If we were the last person on earth, would we still show up at the studio, the rehearsal hall, the laboratory?

The Fruits of Our Labor

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

  • Give the act to me. Purged of hope and ego, Fix your attention on the soul. Act and do for me.

The Artist’s Life

  • Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action.   Do it or don’t do it.

  • Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.