Key Takeaways on The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Sometimes it's difficult to create things. Creating things and then publishing them and showing them to the rest of the world exposes your ego. Whatever piece of work you create is now visible for everyone in the world to see. Our human instinct is to avoid these sorts of scenarios. The War of Art is a book about understanding this battle every creative person endures to put out meaningful work.

So how do you break through this battle? How do you win in the fight against yourself? Well, first you start by understanding why it's worth battling against your own instincts in the first place. You want to create work that you want to exist. What you envision and imagine doesn't exist and until it does part of you will remain unsatisfied. You recognize that perfection isn't something you should expect and self-improvement and refining and practicing your craft is what you enjoy.

You know your instincts are designed to protect you, but you also know that your instincts are designed for a time when the rewards from creativity, by and large, did not exist. Your instincts to protect your reputation and ego won't go away, but neither will your need to publish work and improve. Your ability to improve over time and create will, over time, make a meaningful impact on your life, especially as the rewards for your creative endeavors are considerable given how few people apply themselves to a craft seriously.

The War of Art understands this struggle, why we bother with it and why it's a battle that's worth fighting, even if we only ever fight this battle one day at a time.

For many people, the War of Art gives us great comfort in knowing we are not alone. That we feel the burden of witnessing other people's greatness and how we measure in compare. Knowing that other people who have achieved far more than I have share the same feelings gives me hope that I can achieve great things as well.