5 Best Alternative Reads to The War of Art

The War of Art Review

The Main Theme In “The War Of Art: Winning The Inner Creative Battles By Steven Pressfield” discusses the psychological and emotional barriers that prevent individuals from achieving their creative potential. The engaging book, which is part memoir and part guide, argues that there is an inside “enemy” that holds people back and that the most important fight is the one fought against what he calls internal resistance.

We have compiled a list of 5 similar bestselling books to the War Of Art that will help you discover and master your artistic calling and prevail over your creative struggles. Whether you are an entrepreneur, athlete, or artist, these groundbreaking books will open the gates of creativity and help you attain excellence in all spheres of life.

1. Art & Fear By David Bayles and Ted Orland:

First published in 1994, Art and Fear addresses the psychological challenges faced by artists in the creative process. The writers David Bayles and Ted Orland argue that fear is a major barrier to artistic success. They propose several strategies for overcoming it. The best-selling book offers a proven framework and explores how art is made.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fear of failure and fear of success can both prevent artists from creating their best work.
  • Artists need to embrace their fears and focus on the process of creating art rather than the final product.
  • The best way to defeat fear is to create art regularly and to develop one’s skills with hard work.
  • Creative excellence is not necessarily tied to external validation or profitability.
  • The creative process is a journey that involves both triumphs and failures, and artists should embrace both.

2. Steal Like An Artist By Justin Kleon:

Highly recommended, “Steal Like an Artist” is a brilliant guidebook written by Austin Kleon. In his New York Times bestseller, Kleon encourages readers to embrace influence and inspiration rather than see them as threats to their originality. He offers ten strategies for cultivating your genius and removing creative blocks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Steal ideas from other people and sources, and use them as a starting point for your creative work.
  • Be a copycat to become original.
  • Find what you love and do it often to find your voice and style.
  • Use constraints and limitations to spark creativity and help you focus on what’s important.
  • Embrace the idea that creativity is a process, and work hard and put in the time and effort to create something original.

3. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday:

The Obstacle is the Way teaches readers to embrace hindrances as opportunities for growth and excellence.

Key Takeaways:

  • The only thing we can control is our perspective and response to circumstances.
  • By shifting our focus from the problem to the solution, we can turn any barrier into a chance to improve and achieve goals.
  • The book offers practical techniques for effectively cultivating resilience, discipline, and determination in the face of challenges.
  • Constraints can be viewed as opportunities for personal growth and achievement.

4. A Guide To Good Life By William B Irvin:

A Guide to the Good Life is a masterpiece by William B. Irvine that provides practical guidance for living and appreciating the beauty of happy life based on the philosophy of Stoicism.

Key Takeaways:

  • We can train our minds to shift the focus on what we can control from stressing about things we cannot control.
  • It teaches us techniques for attaining tranquillity, such as through negative visualization, in which we imagine the worst possible outcomes so that we can appreciate what we have.
  • We should cultivate wisdom, courage, justice, and self-control.
  • We should live in the present moment and not be overly concerned with the past or the future.
  • We must accept whatever happens and not let our happiness depend on external events.

5. The Practice: Shipping Creative Work By Seth Goldin:

Seth Godin explores the process of creating and delivering artistic work. The book discusses the importance of developing a consistent practice to produce high-quality work and achieve success.

Key Takeaways:

  • The key to creating great work is to develop a consistent practice or a routine of regularly producing creative work.
  • Discipline in maintaining a consistent practice is important.
  • Seek feedback on your work to improve and grow as a creator.
  • Perseverance is key to excellence in creativity and overcoming barriers and setbacks.
  • Taking breaks and engaging in enjoyable activities help stimulate creativity.

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