I’ve been hearing and reading from several people about The War of Art so I thought I might pick it up and have been enjoying it so far. In a nutshell, the book, written by Steven Pressfield, talks about the struggle to be an artist/writer etc. He defines the blocks and enemies in the battle against one’s inner struggle as “Resistance,” and uses that term as a metaphor for everything that prevents us from following our life’s calling. I’m listing some of the quotes that stuck out and will write my full thoughts once I finish.
“I once worked as a writer for a big New York ad agency. Our boss used to tell us: Invent a disease. Come up with the disease, he said, and we can sell the cure. Attention Deficit Disorder, Seasonal Affect Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder. These aren’t diseases, they’re marketing ploys. Doctors didn’t discover them, copywriters did. Marketing departments did. Drug companies did. Depression and anxiety may be real. But they can also be Resistance. When we drug ourselves to blot out our soul’s call, we are being good Americans and exemplary consumers.”
The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference.
If Resistance couldn’t be beaten, there would be no Fifth Symphony, no Romeo and Juliet, no Golden Gate Bridge. Defeating Resistance is liking giving birth. It seems absolutely impossible until you remember that women have been pulling it off successfully, with support and without, for fifty million years.
The amateur plays for fun. The professional plays for keeps.
An amateur lets the negative opinion of others unman him. He takes external criticims to heart, allowing it to trump his own belief in himself and his work. Resistance loves this.