The War of Art

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The War of Art

Post by Matt_Quinn » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:12 pm

I did a quick search of the archive and found some tangential discussion of this book, but I thought it deserved it's own thread. I picked it up yesterday and am 60% through it already. Really great stuff, if a bit preachy/zealot-ish at times. It definitely has already started to change the way I think about not just music, but any daunting task in front of me. I'm not normally one for self-help type stuff, but this book was mentioned in Dennis Desantis's 74 Creative Strategies, and the reviews were so good I grabbed it on a whim. Between the 2 books, I'm feeling more refreshed and energized about music than I have in a long while. Definitely recommended, and would love to hear other people's thoughts if they've read it. ... 1501260626
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Re: The War of Art

Post by H20nly » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:15 pm




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Re: The War of Art

Post by smutek » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:03 pm

I've read this and found it pretty inspiring. Unfortunately the inspiration didn't lead to any real sort of change in my case. :x

It's been a while and I'm probably due for a re-read, definitely nothing wrong with some inspiration. I also have "Do The Work", by the same author.

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Re: The War of Art

Post by Angstrom » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:02 pm

I read this a while back and while it's good, it's missing a few things and that's why it fails to induce change in many cases.

Pressfield asks the reader to target their "resistance" and characterise it as an enemy to be battled. Which is good idea, but why this fails is that most people need an end goal. he goes halfway by characterising indolence as your Antagonist and you as the Protagonist, what is the aim of your character in this story?
Most people don't have a solid target for themselves other than something such as "get an audience" and "become self-sustaining" and "make good art", and those are quite a nebulous and hard to aim at. Lets imagine you are offered two mutually exclusive opportunities : #1:write music for a video, #2:go to a party where Label execs might be.
Which do you choose?

Imagine a story where the character of "the artist" must battle the great Satan of Resistance toward nebulous goals of "success", how does The Artist gauge their progress toward it? What are the milemarkers? When have they even arrived?

If you were writing a novel with these characters you'd have the Artist have a very specific goal, such as "A number One Record", or "My music on a syndicated TV show". When the goal is more defined it becomes possible to plan towards it, and it becomes possible to gauge how far you have come and be encouraged to continue.

If your goal is to have your music on a syndicated sitcom and you are offered the chance to score a video or go to a Record exec party then the video is the better choice to make.

Perhaps Pressfield covers this aspect, it's a while since I read his book. Anyway - I think when targeting Resistance as your Antagonist, be sure to give your Protagonist a defined end goal.

just my musings.

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Re: The War of Art

Post by Goddard » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:51 am

"Machines are the weapon employed by the capitalists to quell the revolt of specialized labor" Karl Marx

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