With a title that’s a play on the ancient Chinese treatise devoted to military tactics and strategy The Art of War, Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art identifies the creative person’s principal opponent; the reason the writer’s blank page often remains blank, the canvas gathers dust, or resistance is encountered in any other creative enterprise. In fact, the name Pressfield gives the creative person’s enemy is Resistance. Think your creative block comes from without – from your less than perfect circumstances or a misalignment of the stars? Think again. Pressfield says it’s in you, it’s in me, and yet it’s an impersonal, relentless force – think the shark in Jaws (his analogy) or perennial college parties (mine – we live just off campus and this analogy’s particular poignance brings tears to my eyes this morning – note the selfie, above).

Pressfield does just as good of a job providing the solution to the problem. I won’t reveal it, and it’s not as if there’s a magic bullet that will, once and for all, put Resistance in its place. You will face Resistance every single day you intend to do whatever it is you feel you were made to do. The days you sit back, eating donuts and watching all seven seasons of the Office, Resistance will give you a pass. One of you has done their job for the day.

It’s a quick read, and deserves a quick blog post. I recommend you read the book, especially if you have big plans to start that next novel, series of paintings, or even start working out, but know, in your heart of hearts, that it won’t happen today.