Review: “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield

I didn’t know how to review this book at the time and now months have passed, and I’m none the wiser. I checked out some of its reviews on Goodreads and it seems I am not the only one so utterly confused by this work.

Beware of picking it up, I’ll tell you that much for sure – it gives out some very ill-thought out advices at times, which might prove problematic for some readers and absolutely useless for most.

It is advertised as a guide for people struggling with their creativity, filled with ‘helpful’ advices and anecdotes. It does delivers some practical approaches on how to stop procrastinating and go write, but it does so in an extremely accusatory manner that not everyone will appreciate. Despite the fact I understood where the author was coming from, e.g., that it is up to yourself to break the negative cycle, he didn’t do it in the manner he perhaps should have.


I enjoyed and maybe even benefited from the first few chapters of this self-help book, but it changes its tone dramatically in the second half. It became religion oriented and I’m not here for it. Nothing against the topic in general, however it did not fit with writing advices. The divine metaphors and even some of the non-divine ones the author used were strange and out of place. It just all fell apart the longer it went on.

If you were meant to cure cancer […], you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself,. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet.

You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with you unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter father along its path back to God.

Steven Pressfield, ‘The War of Art’

I think, all in all, I have not found in this book any helpful advice that would outweigh all the bull crap of it. When writing this review, I realised that I’m unable to directly quote, without looking up, or remember, any of its teachings that might have been of value.

Shame that, but no matter. Onto the next one!

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