The War of Art

Somewhere, at some point in time, I came across a recommendation to read ‘The Art of War: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles’ by Steven Pressfield. I had never heard of this book. I had never heard of the author, but I’m always keen to read a good book. So I logged into the public library system, searched the title and placed a hold on it. I even had the foresight to select the pick-up branch that I pass three times a week on my way to my training sessions. Then I essentially forgot all about it.

While I love to read, my visits to the library can be sporadic, because going to the library often feels like an inconvenience and imposition of my time. I often incur late fees for the same reason.

About a week ago I received an email notification that the book was available for me to pick up. Great, I thought, and then I forgot about it. Earlier this week I was reminded that I still had to pick up the book. On Monday I drove past the library and decided that I would pick it up after my training session on Wednesday morning. After Wednesday’s training session I decided that I would pick it up before Friday’s training session. Are you sensing the pattern here? While I was at work yesterday I considered not picking up the book on my way to the gym, because technically I had until December 22 to pick it up. But then I realized that the 22nd is going to be a busy day for me, which means my desire to stop at the library would be all the weaker. I considered letting my hold expire and looking for the book again at a later date. Yes, I do know how to procrastinate! In the end I did decide to stop and pick up the book.

Although I had heard that this was a good book to read, I really didn’t know anything about it. I had half expected to receive a heavy tome, so I was surprised by its thinness. As I flipped through the pages I was again surprised by the plentiful blank spaces on the pages. I had enough time to read the introduction, and I had to stifle a chuckle. The first two sentences of the introduction are:

“Steven Pressfield wrote The War of Art for me. He undoubtedly wrote it for you too, but I know he did it expressly for me because I hold Olympic records for procrastination.”

Oh yes, I know a thing or two about procrastination! Here I had spent so much energy procrastinating over whether or not to pick up a book that was all about battling those things that get in the way of our goals, like procrastination. Silly girl!

Once I started reading it I didn’t want to put it down. Of course, I had to sleep and go to work today, but I finished reading it this afternoon. I am so glad that I didn’t let that book slip through my fingers. It was a very good read, and I will have to buy myself a copy because it is too good not to read again and again.

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