The War of Art: A Book Review!

(Note: I started working on both of these posts earlier in the day, but I was really disappointed with the writing. This is saying something, as most of my blog posts go up without any editing at all! Anyway, sorry for the delay. Enjoy!)

Hey gang!

Bible study forthcoming today. But in the meantime, I read a book! We should throw a small parade or something.

I actually found The War of Art from Donald Miller's blog. I have been thinking a lot about improving my skills as a writer, and when his list of books you should read crossed my eyes, I hopped on Amazon and got to the reading. I started with the War of Art, and I'm instantly hooked on it!

The basic idea of the book is that to be a creative artist, you have do dedicate yourself to the task at hand. Steven Pressfield takes the romance out of being an artist and reminds us that it takes some pretty serious work to give birth to our creations. The book is mostly geared towards those artists who are full time freelancers, but I think there are a few applications for the rest of us as well.

1. Resistance is brutal.
Pressfield actually personifies that demonic force that keeps us from getting our stuff done. It's in the room with me right now. It's standing between me and the pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen. It's winning. Some people call this "writer's block", but when Pressfield labeled it as Resistance, it opened the door to all kinds of different areas of our lives than just writing. Resistance talked me into quitting the gym. He's talked me out of finishing my next sermon. He's a crafty little devil he is!

2. Act Like A Pro
This was huge for me. When I first started writing songs and playing guitar, I saw it as a kind of hobby. It wasn't what I did, it was what I did when I didn't have anything else to do. And yet, when I'm not in a band, when I don't have a place to let my music out, I feel empty and hollow. It's taken me forever to come to terms with labeling myself a "musician" or an "artist," but that's exactly what I am. Pressfield would tell me that it's not only ok to call myself what I am, but to embrace it and run towards it as though I was a professional. An amateur only pecks away at their calling from time to time, as though it were some kind of hobby. A pro runs full speed after what they love, willing to toss it all overboard for the next gig or the next project.

Spiritually, the book goes everywhere and seems to embrace a multitude of faith ideas from Christianity to Muses and Greek Mythology. However, if you can work with that and some pretty colorful language from time to time, I think this book is a huge help to worship leaders in particular. I wouldn't chuck it out for youth pastors either though, because we face resistance on a near daily basis. You can pick it up from Amazon by following the link below!