Friends of Writing Wednesdays, I’d like to ask for your wisdom and feedback. I’m taking a little survey, and you can be of real assistance to me if you’d answer, in the Comments section below, some of the questions I’d like to pose to you. (It’ll be my pleasure to send a signed copy of The War of Art to the half dozen commentators whose advice is most helpful.)

The original "silver bullet" hardcover from Rugged Land Books

The original "silver bullet" hardcover from Rugged Land Books

Here’s the issue. I’m thinking about writing a follow-up to The War of Art. Sort of a War of Art 2.0. Some things I’d like to know from your perspective are:

1) Would you be interested in such a book? (Tell the brutal truth; don’t be kind.) Would you consider buying it?

2) In what ways would such a book be most helpful to you? As a motivational aid? A kick in the butt? For further insights on Resistance? On professionalism? Something else?

I have my own ideas on these issues, but it would help me a lot to hear what you think.

3) If War of Art 2.0 could be exactly what you want, what would it be? If it had three main sections, what would they be? If the book could deliver a specific feeling as you closed the final page, what would that feeling be?

Would it be like the original War of Art or would it be different? In what ways?

5) Does it matter to you if the book comes out in hardcover? (It doesn’t to me.) Would paperback be just as good? What if it was released as an eBook that you had to download and print out–is that worthwhile or a pain in the butt?

I’m thinking of constructing the book so that it could be read on an iPad–in other words, including video or links along with the text. If you were reading it on an iPad or other such device, what type of videos would you like to see included?

How about personal stuff? When I write, in Writing Wednesdays, of various personal struggles and challenges that I’m dealing with, is that helpful to you or does it get in the way?

Thanks, you guys. I hate surveys as much as the next man, so I appreciate anyone who takes even a couple of minutes to respond to this.

And anybody under thirty who has some brilliant web-based marketing strategies … I’m all ears!

Back to real Writing Wednesdays next week. Thanks!


Steve shows you the predictable Resistance points that every writer hits in a work-in-progress and then shows you how to deal with each one of these sticking points. This book shows you how to keep going with your work.

do the work book banner 1


A short book about the writing of a first novel: for Steve, The Legend of Bagger Vance. Having failed with three earlier attempts at novels, here's how Steve finally succeeded.



Steve shares his "lessons learned" from the trenches of the five different writing careers—advertising, screenwriting, fiction, nonfiction, and self-help. This is tradecraft. An MFA in Writing in 197 pages.



Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have pro habits. When we turn pro, we give up the comfortable life but we find our power. Steve answers the question, "How do we overcome Resistance?"



  1. Jasvir Samrai on February 17, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Dear Mr Pressfield
    To answer the question should there be another book stemming from the War of Art? The answer is a strong yes. My evidence and conclusion are based on a number of beliefs that requir no evidence, in my view. They are:
    1. The humility you have shown by asking if another book should exist.
    2. The gift you have already provided to many I’m your clarity, responsiveness and respect to something larger than yourself.
    3. With all due respect you have noright to say no to another book because it is not yours in the first place. It is, like the War of Art, another gift given to
    Humanity streaming through you.

    It was not my intention to be so
    Phylosophical, but sometimes the extraordianary cannot and should not require any explanations.

    With kind regards
    Jasvir Samrai
    An individual who has been entrichef by what you have had to offer.

  2. Annette Mencke on February 17, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Dear Steven,
    I can’t resist your invitation so here are my thoughts and comments.
    I think the most important thing is the intention behind any project. Lots of “follow up projects” e.g. movie films fail to live up to the original e.g. in music its called the “Second Album Syndrom” (which statistically do worse than the debut album).
    I loved your debut book and I think the way to make the follow up a success is to add another dimension to it. To answer your first question, absolutely would I be interested in such a book. I have always viewed your Writing Wednesday blog as the follow up and as a way of staying connected to the core message of that book. If I could add anything to this book it would be comments from other successful people e.g. Fashion designers who have to put on a new collection for each season. Script Writers who have been commissioned to write e. g. a film adaptation. In short successful people who had their lucky break. In sharp contrast you could ask aspiring artists and then draw comparisons. What are successful people doing that aspiring people are not but ought to do. I think real practical examples would make fascinating reading.
    To answer your 2nd question: for me reading a follow up book would be motivational and further insights to resistance (which would obviously include the great distraction opportunity the Internet / emails / social networking sites provide). My three sections would be: 1) what successful people are doing 2) what aspiring people don’t do (that should include interviews from editors who read book transcripts, film production companies who read potential scripts. Ask them the big question: their top 10 reasons why scripts, demos, other pitches are turned down. (e.g. is it all about connections or is it about talent or do you need both or any other magic combination). Having read your 2nd book I’d like to feel inspired, confident that what I am doing will eventually help me to break through and motivated. To answer your question 5 (somehow you left 4 out): I don’t mind if its in paperback but I am not a fan of e-books and that’s because I make notes in all my books, I underline important passages that I re-read. I think a combination of paperback and digital would work e.g. have a code in the back of the book that gives online access to listen to interviews from people. I’d also love to listen to success stories. Don’t use iPads and probably never will (sorry).
    Love personal stuff. It makes it real cause lets face it we all struggle with something. It takes away your fear cause if you know that someone else has been able to move through struggle there is no excuse you can’t do the same for yourself.

    I hope you find this useful.
    Best regards,

  3. Annabel on February 17, 2010 at 6:34 am

    I would buy it sight unseen, even before it was published if you wanted to get a number of people to commit to it before you wrote it. I could probably rally a number of my musician friends to do likewise as well (though you won’t hear from them here because most of them aren’t tech savvy enough to subscribe to RSS feeds to keep up with blogs!)

    The War of Art made a huge difference in my life and in that of many of my friends. I find it complete in itself, but I would certainly welcome any further insights you could provide on Resistance and professionalism (or emotional labor, as Seth Godin calls it). The personal stories are very helpful in demonstrating that no one is immune to Resistance, regardless of their achievements.

    I am over 40, so I prefer a real book rather than having to print it out, and I much prefer paperbacks, they take up less room, can easily be carried in my bag. An electronic version as a supplement, perhaps sold together with the book would be nice.

    I personally could do without videos (but again, a 20-something year old may feel differently about it!) and would enjoy just having audio soundbites, much like the short chapters in the original, that I could listen to on my iPod for a boost whenever necessary.

    The problem of books is that we are full of insight and resolve while we are reading them and right afterwards and then Resistance sneaks in again and makes us forget.

    Perhaps an autoresopnder that would deliver small chapters or reminders via RSS or email would be nice as a supplement as well.

    I would want to come away from the book feeling ready to do the work, feeling like I am worthy to do the work.

    As for marketing strategies, I suggest you talk with Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferriss, and Chris Brogan. They have all been very successful in using alternative marketing strategies for their books.

    With great respect and gratitude for your work,

  4. Marcelo Augusto on February 17, 2010 at 6:39 am

    1. Yes, of course.
    2. For all that reasons, but the first is about the Muse.
    3. Maybe could say more about the resistence in our fantasy, ignorance, and illusions. Maybe with comments on ethic and spiritual life. The feeling I would like is that life is big, that we are nothing without the Mystery. I don’t think the book must be different of the first.
    4. 5. It doesn’t matter to me about the hardcover, paper, etc. It would be great as an eBook too. Maybe videos of people working together. About your personal stuff, please go on.

    Thank you for invite us to comment.

    All my best.

    Marcelo Augusto
    São Paulo – Brazil

  5. Michael Arnoldus on February 17, 2010 at 6:39 am

    1. Yes! Most definitely.

    2. As further insights on resistance, as a wonderful read and simply reading something that is well written and talks to me.

    3. I don’t want to it be something I could imagine I wanted. If I did I would write it myself 🙂 The specific feeling would be the feeling of freedom and boundless possibilities.

    5. Any format will work for me. Print is no problem.

    Ipad would be an interesting experiment, but I have to confess I’m a sucker for paper 🙂

    Kind regards,
    Michael Arnoldus

  6. Zia Hassan on February 17, 2010 at 6:59 am

    1) Absolutely. War of Art has been such a huge inspiration to me and those around me.

    2) The first book was a kick in the butt, hands down. I think if you were to write a follow up, it too should be a kick in the butt, but should also build upon the foundation you set up in the first book. I think the first book was useful to me when I’m working alone; perhaps a focus for the second book could be working with others. Not necessarily teamwork/collaboration, but the idea of receiving feedback, when to use it or disregard it, etc. So, first book: Kick in the butt. Second book: the value of your critics and how to efficiently produce with them in mind. Maybe. Though, I would read the book even if it were just an extension of what you wrote previously.

    3) Three main sections: A- Building upon the foundation of the first book, extension of sorts. B-Working with Feedback and Criticism (and if it matters) C-Greater Purpose of your efforts as an artist. When I close the book, I want to feel as if I am producing my work in order to change the world. It’s so easy to get caught up in “yeah, I made something cool, but only a few people care about it. Is it even worth spending time on this?”

    4) I think the style of writing should be similar to the first book, for sure. That was the best part about it. So common-sensical, yet thought-provoking. Urgent but not frantic. Relevant without being preachy. In terms of the content, it should fall along the same lines but I definitely think it should add a new dimension of being self-aware. I know a lot of the lessons in the War of Art were getting beyond this self-awareness and I don’t think you should contradict yourself, but since your audience DOES interact with your work, it’d be nice to hear a little more about how to deal with that.

    5) I dislike eBooks. Hardcover is annoying. Paperback is the best. I’d still buy the book if it was hardcover, but I probably wouldn’t bring it out on a train or something.

    Marketing Strategies: The way you’re approaching this project right now proves that you’re on the right track. Engaging those who want to hear from you is always important. If you’re going to utilize social media, I believe it’s important to find a medium that works for you and that you’re comfortable with. If you’re asking me what I’d like to see personally? Videoblogs and podcasts. Profiles of people who you think we could learn a thing or two from. Quick riffs about creativity. Q&A (I know that you do some of this, but it would be cool to see you in a web conference type of setting).

    And definitely a book tour.

    I gave The War of Art to my girlfriend’s father who is a fantastic artist and he described it as life changing. Not just him, this has happened with anyone who I’ve recommended the book to. I enjoy the satisfaction of giving your gift over and over again. I’m sure it will be the same story for whatever book you do next. I’m thankful for your work. Good luck!

  7. Kevin Lanik on February 17, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I hope you find my comments helpful, as I have found your writing.
    1) As I have only recently discovered your work I have not yet read The War of Art – but, regardless, I would have to see if the content of a followup book is different enough, providing new insights and not simply an upgrade. If it turns out to be a rehash with a few new features I’m more likely to stick with the original.

    2) From what I know of the first book, and your writings here, I think another book on resistance would not be appealing; except, perhaps, as a small segment with new insights on the matter. I think a subject that would naturally follow a book on being creative would be one on getting ‘published’. Not just in words but other forms of art as well, once the work is created getting into the hands of the audience. This endeavor requires resistance but in a different way than the creative process, so the theme of resistance should be included and drive the way the subject is treated.

    3) The book would be motivational in the final leg of the artistic process, getting art to its audience. I have to say I’m not sure what three sections might look like. I suppose ‘Finding a publisher‘, ‘Advertising‘ and ‘What to do after getting published‘ might work as a rough start. I don’t think motivation would be necessary initially, every artist wants an audience, but it will be necessary to encourage people to keep at it. As for the overall feeling when finishing the book, there should be a sense of accomplishment and some finality.

    4) I can’t say how it would be different, again, not having read the original yet. I imagine the tone would be similar, as a continuation. Obviously the subject matter would be different enough to get you audience to buy it.

    5) I wouldn’t care whether there was hardcover, but I would love to see an electronic version as well as print. I know others won’t want an ebook, print will never die, but I would certainly go for one because they are easier to navigate.

  8. CK on February 17, 2010 at 7:40 am

    1. I would be interested an buy it. For sure.
    2. It would be useful to me in the same way the first book was. As a refresher on motivation. To remind myself that I am not the only one that suffers in the creative process. The more valuable the item you are creating, the more the resistance. I’ve used the first edition as gifts to my creative friends. I bought ten copies and gave them all away. The recipients were always amazed at the book.
    3. Maybe revisit what was in the first edition, and update the content with what you know now, as opposed to what you knew when you first wrote it. Also I think it would be nice to have a section of a dialogue between you and your readers about the book, or questions from your readers about the book.
    4 (5?). Format does not matter to me. I do read Kindle books on my kindle and iphone. Hardcover is a relic of the past. I still read paper books, but don’t feel like paying a premium for hardcover. Those days are over. I like paper books less each day. I look at my bookshelves of paper books and think that idea is quaint. The future of my book purchases will not take up space, just digital space. I like the video idea. Videos of people who have read the book, and interview about THEIR creative process might be interesting.

  9. From Smart to Finish on February 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

    1. Yes, I will buy it.
    2. I will use it as a motivational tool. I keep my current version in the door pocket of my car. I’m a Suburban Mom, and I pull it out and read when I have to wait on someone or something. Plus, I see it there each time I open the door, a reminder to “carry on”.
    3. I would want the the text pared to brief and meaningful spoonfuls. I like that the current version can be opened to any page, at any time, to deliver a dose of tonic.
    4. I would like the paper to be higher quality, to resist crinkly decay.
    5. I would NOT download and print an e-book.

    Have you thought of narrating an audiobook?

    Or composing a Page-a-Day calendar?

  10. Jason MacPherson on February 17, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Absolutely do another book!!!

    First, I am not the least bit artistic – can’t write, draw, or play music. I have been in business my whole life – started getting a paycheck at 14 and your principles apply in the business realm as well.I have owned a couple of businesses and worked in mid-management at three Fortune 100 companies.

    The War of Art is great internal motivation about getting up, working hard, and doing something to overcome the resistance. I am very interested in your ideas on the external side. The appearance of luck or fate. The break that requires someone else.

    It seems that every success has some kind of break – a certain person, a team of previous unknowns coming together, a small business that gets a huge contract. Is it the law of attraction? I know some people will say talent creates its own luck, but I am not so sure. I grew up in Nashville and knew many aspiring country artists. Some of the unknown – never made its – had more talent than some of the stars. They worked just as hard but never seemed to get the right door opened for them. I know many failed people that worked hard everyday. What about the fate?/

    I am old school and would love paperback – can’t concentrate on more than a page on a screen for some reason.

  11. Walt K on February 17, 2010 at 8:19 am


    To me, WofA seems complete. Hard to imagine improving on it.

    But I’d buy a version 2, sight unseen.

    What would I like to see?

    More of the same thing that made WofA so rich in the first place. What are you itching and burning to say about this? What’s eating at you? What stories have you heard from readers that moved you? What have you learned that you can’t shut up about?

    WofA works because it comes from the gut. It wasn’t focused-grouped into existence. As you said yourself, you had to do it. The voice is everything here.

    More of that, please. It’s what elevates the book nine miles above the usual pap like “Nine tips for overcoming procrastination.” Or the Chicken Soup series that was sequeled to death: “Chicken soup for the downsized executive who is now a real estate agent Soul.”

    Personally, I’d just be happy to see what YOU want to add to War of Art. That’s what I’d pay for.

    Format: I’d pay for a book. Need to feel the pages, and how they get dog-eared with repeated readings.

  12. sue on February 17, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I’m with Walt. You really provided a good kick in the rear with the first book, and it had so much force and your personal excitement invested that it made me feel you were talking just to me.

    Please keep it to paper. These sorts of motivational books (and so far in 50 years, yours is the best I’ve found) are great carry-alongs.

    I did enjoy how you related ideas to personal experience.

  13. Matt Kuzma on February 17, 2010 at 8:49 am

    The War of Art changed my life. I have always been “creative” but Resistance has stopped me from actually finishing things so many times in my career. Until I read your book, I just thought I was weak. Now I know that I needed to be trained for battle.

    I have bought The War of Art 6 times for friends and would buy this book sight unseen. Paperback preferred. And I really like ebooks because i can print them at work and read on the train. It reminds me of grad school – reading important research that the professor feels is the most current insight into a topic.

    Content: All of the content is compelling. What would help me is even more material on professionalism. As far as video or extended content, I think it would be fascinating to see videos of real people discussing how Resistance has shown itself in their lives and what they do to beat it down to the ground!

    One final thing, I work for a church organization, and I think there is a strong theological case to be made that your description of Resistance is the very definition of “sin.” Would make a very good dissertation!

  14. Jesse C on February 17, 2010 at 8:57 am

    1. I would definitely buy it, as Walt said above, sight unseen.
    2. I think there are probably a lot of great things you could put in it, but at minimum as a motivational kick in the butt daily reminder and as a set of patterns and solutions it would be great to expand on WOA. I like to read random selections whenever I feel the need to get moving, and as such you could expand almost indefinitely. I’ll think some more about other things I’d like to see and suggest them because I really want you to write a sequel, but that would be enough for me to buy it.
    3. Dealing with the business of selling/making a living writing, although it is changing a lot as media changes I think there are probably the same personalities (crooks, directors, agents, etc.) to deal with in different guises. I would make that section 2. A section on writing extended works, like for a series or rewriting novel-length work. I would make that section 1.
    Section 3 I would like to see unfold as a set of vignettes that describe and illustrate/demonstrate technique. Ultimately in the end my feeling would be the same as a satisfying story in which the hero learned to master his craft and succeed in the hurly-burly dangerous competitive world and came out on top but not where he expected to be, bruised but unbroken.
    5. I would most likely buy the Kindle and paperback editions. I’d most likely get the hardcover only if its autographed and probably as a gift.

  15. Lorraine on February 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

    # 1 I will buy and read anything you write about writing, so yes, War of Art 2.0 would be most welcome.

    #2 A book on this subject is timely and useful: Many of us who blog and use social media are chagrined to find these platforms support our endeavors—yet, unbridled, also transform into a form of Resistance. Ideally, War of Art 2.0 will motivate, kick butts and delve further into Resistance, especially á propos of modern life and its myriad digital distractions. Where and how do you draw the line with media intrusion?

    #3 I’d like the book to include a.) A recap and new insights into art and Resistance b.) Personal stories and examples: work routines, resistance strategies, how you incorporate new media into your daily life. c.) Honest suggestions for combating 2.0-related Resistance. –even if suggestions are unfashionable, e.g.:”Unplug.” Would love to know what your Muse thinks of digital media.

    #4 I liked the spare writing style and concise length of The War of Art. It would be great if the 2.0 volume kept your thoughtful, succinct format and didn’t veer into the “I’m figuring this out as I go along” style adopted by so many bloggers.

    #5 I like hardcover or paperback. I don’t want to print out an ebook or read on a screen.

  16. William on February 17, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I’d preorder a copy of War of Art 2 now, if I could. It is one of the few great books on creativity. I’ll take the book any way you want to give it, but a paper book is preferred. I like to stick WoA in my bag on trips from time to time to reread.

    As for an iPad version, the Slate/Pad wars are just getting started. Wait for a bit. Do some video’s on YouTube as marketing for now, free, supplemental videos that you’ll learn what works and then move to the Slate market. Could be a really neat app, a creative persons partner. Check off how much you did that day, how good it was and provide feedback both canned and new videos. Look at the EA games Active (for exercise). It has you journal your health habits and rewards you with feedback. Something like that for battling resistance – that’s a ipad/Slate app that could add huge value combined with the WoA ideas.

    As for content, what are the themes you hear over and over again? For me, fighting Resistance is a slog, a battle and anything on facing the battle would help. There are a lot of tactics (professionalism) in your book, but they feel like tactics, because resistance changes. It adapts to my success.

    That would be one topic: The War itself, day in and day out and how to realize that Resistance is changing.

    Another would be on Resistance’s ally: Life. How do you manage around Resistance in face of the day job, kids, stress, and so forth? How to turn missing one day on Art into a bump and not a roadblock. How do you create when everything seems to be falling apart?

    Personal struggles work for me. I like to feel I’m not alone out there. One book to skim a bit on this topic is Mind Games on sports psychology. Many useful ideas on how sports people fight their own demons. It’s wildly different than an artist’s problems but we hold something in common. Our brains get in the way.

    Now, I’ve burned through 10 minutes of my writing time. I need to go fight Resistance some more.
    Thanks – WoA is one of the important books in my life. Thank you for it.

  17. Matthew Ray Scott on February 17, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Mr. Pressfield,

    I had the privilege of interviewing you almost 2 yrs. ago for my men@pause podcast. You might remember, I mentioned I served in Army Special Operations at Ft. Bragg.

    Sir, I’m “gunning” for a signed book since I exalted you to my buddies Pam Slim, Jonathan Fields, and Chris Guillebeau. Okay, you didn’t need me to do that, but…

    Here’s my response to your request:

    1. What about a The War of Art applied to online communication for people that will never write a book? Focused on the person who may never write a physical book, but will be regarded as great social media writer. Small business owners reconciling offline w/online conversation & relationship will really dig this. In your original War of Art style, focus on resistance. The War of Art 2.0 muse now has her own domain name and twitter account:)

    2. Include success stories of people from reading The War of Art.

    3. I recommend the same paperback length and style as The War of Art.

    4. I recommend you re-purpose your The War of Art stories w/brief podcast or virtual video interviews. Of course you’ll need an interview host, and I’m “reporting for duty.” Think: The War of Art & The War of Art 2.0 on favorite hand-held mp3 device and phones where people get a quick audio or video kick in the butt.

    Mr. Pressfield, thanks for inspiring us.

    Matthew Ray Scott

  18. Jeff on February 17, 2010 at 9:56 am

    1) Yes. I’d buy the book whatever it turns out to be. But I’d be beating down doors to buy the book if it featured more nuts & bolts implementation, examples of turnarounds, etc.

    2) The book would be most helpful in giving me more habits and processes I can put in place around my workday to bolster my efforts at keeping Resistance at bay.

    3) The book would have handy rules of thumb, some hard and fast rules, before and after examples, etc. It would be as much of a handbook, field manual, and daily reference as anything.

    4) It would be different in focus. The War of Art is damn near poetry: slim, profound, eminently quotable, changes the way you see the world. But a lot of us suck. We now know we’re fighting the enemy called Resistance – and that’s a huge step forwards – but we’re still pretty bad at actually fighting him. A tactics and strategies manual would be a blessing.

    5) I’d actually prefer a paperback in plasticky, durable covers – the kind a real field manual or tactics handbook might have. Maybe even a slightly larger than average format such as the one that Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics used. I would NOT want it in an e-book format. Or rather, I would prefer not to only have it in an e-book format.

  19. Mike G on February 17, 2010 at 10:25 am

    like several others have said, not just being kind, but i’d buy it without thinking twice, just because of how helpful war of art was/is for me.

    for me, what resonated with me the most in war of art was the resistance and the pieces on professionalism, but more than that it was the style that it was written in. brief, poignant thoughts that gave a small peak inside personal struggles.

    i would be interested in hearing more on issues and struggles that artists and writers need to overcome. i couldn’t say exactly what those are ( i wouldn’t have identified needing to read about the resistance before i did), but something that’s born out of your own personal struggle.

    the war of art made me feel like i need to go create, and that i can go create…that’s why i bought the book for dozens of others as well. i think capturing that same sort of spirit would be the feeling i’d love to end the book with.

    as to hardcover, etc – i’d buy it however, but paperback made it cheaper for me to be able to buy multiple copies for more people, and for whatever reason, it felt like it fit the war of art for me. i read a lot on the kindle and would read it as an ebook there, and won’t be using an ipad for reading.

  20. Michelle on February 17, 2010 at 10:42 am


    Thanks for asking. I felt WoA 1.0 was written for me. Now, I know WoA 2.0 really is. 🙂

    1) Yes, I would buy it. I still recommend WoA to friends.

    2) I would enjoy further insights on Resistance and Professionalism.

    As another topic, there are a lot of things that are beyond our control in this economic downturn. It’s hard to not internalize bad things. I’d like to see a section written to address dealing what is controllable vs just bad luck.

    3) If War of Art 2.0 could be exactly what you want, what would it be? If it had three main sections, what would they be?

    1. How the outside world works with you, and sometimes against you, in your life’s work. How to know the difference between a sign that you should be doing something else vs an obstacle to over come.

    2. Inner battles

    3. Knowing oneself and reaching for the end goal.

    If the book could deliver a specific feeling as you closed the final page, what would that feeling be?
    I want confidence that I can endure any hardship with grace and eventually succeed.

    Yes, make it like WoA 1 so I can laugh.

    5) Paperback.

  21. S.J.B on February 17, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’ll buy it. Paperback.

    Motivation – Butt kicking – Discipline – Resistance – Focus – Commitment

    Examples of your personal struggle – absolutely

    How do you believe in yourself enough to take that leap of faith? I’m finally at a point where I can afford to do so and yet a voice from within is assuring me that going back to college for a couple of years would be sensible. I feel compelled to schedule a two-year block of resistance. I want the book to inspire me to follow my bliss, put all my eggs in one basket, and burn my bridges. I want you to give me guts.

    Sorry for the cliche’s

  22. Kyle on February 17, 2010 at 10:52 am

    What I would like to see in WoA2.0 is for you to “novelize” it as you considered and rejected before in the actual WoA.

    Have an awesome index-guide: Use of blank to suggest blank-pp xxx, yyy, zzz.

    Paper or ebook with embedded notes to jump back and forth between guide and novel.

  23. Ivan on February 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm


    Thanks for asking. But please don’t ask.

    If you want to do War of Art 2.0 because there’s something clawing at your insides that you need to let out, I’ll buy. Four copies. Right now. I’ll give you my Visa Card number. E-book, paper book, video. Matters not.

    But f you’re re-doing it to extend the franchise, or do a sequel or capitalize on the brand or leverage your audience equity, don’t do it. Please don’t do it. Let War of Art be what it is, forever.

    You didn’t do Bagger Vance because the demographics were right. Henry Ford said, “If I had asked consumers what they wanted, they would have said, ‘Give me a faster horse that doesn’t crap so much.'”

    So please don’t ask me. I have no damn idea. But I’ll stand in line to read whatever you’ve been thinking and feeling and wanting to say since the first edition.

    I’ll point you to page 152 of the paperback War of Art. (Don’t you freaking HATE when people toss your own words in front of you?) Definition of a Hack.

    • Martin on February 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

      I agree. Dido.

  24. Andrew on February 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    If you released a new version, I’m sure I’d buy it, considering how many times I’ve re-read the original. That said, this survey is silly. If you have something inside you that you feel like you need to write, write it. If you don’t, don’t. You’d be violating your own principals to do anything else.

  25. josh on February 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    please don’t release a follow up. you touched upon everything possible in war of art and if certain people aren’t applying those principles, they are beyond help, plain and simple. a second book would be considered a form of resistance for most folks because most people like to play it safe and continue to learn instead of actually doing. maybe i should take my own advice though!

  26. Martin Messier on February 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    1) Would you be interested in such a book? (Tell the brutal truth; don’t be kind.) Would you consider buying it?

    Yes. I would buy it on the day it came out, provided it were in eletronic format.

    2) In what ways would such a book be most helpful to you? As a motivational aid? A kick in the butt? For further insights on Resistance? On professionalism? Something else?

    Seth’s Linchpin built on your book, I thought. Take Linchpin up another notch. Stimulate the professional. You did a fabulous job in War of Art 1 on pinning the Resistance. Tell me more about the professional. Tell me about shipping. Tell me about producing, about putting stuff out into the real world, about detaching myself from the outcome, about being authentic.

    Whatever way you choose to write about it will be both a kick in the butt and a motivational aid. Both of these happen naturally in your writing.

    3) If War of Art 2.0 could be exactly what you want, what would it be? If it had three main sections, what would they be? If the book could deliver a specific feeling as you closed the final page, what would that feeling be?

    I guess I mostly answered this in the previous question. Discuss authenticity. Talk about the authentic swing in the work of the professional. Talk about Bobby Jones. Talk about the relationship of the professional to consumption (does the professional consume or produce more?). Tell me how to break through the initial barrier and build momentum.

    The three main sections of the book would be:

    I. The Professional
    II. The Breakthrough
    III. Sustaining Movement

    4) Would it be like the original War of Art or would it be different? In what ways?

    Same style. Mix up your own internal feelings with the principles you share. Share your struggle. Tell us about how you’ve matured and gotten wiser with experience.

    5) Does it matter to you if the book comes out in hardcover? (It doesn’t to me.) Would paperback be just as good? What if it was released as an eBook that you had to download and print out–is that worthwhile or a pain in the butt?

    In my case, I would prefer that you launch it either in Kindle Format or in ePub format. I’ve found the iPhone apps Stanza (and Kindle) to be spectacular for reading anywhere on account of portability. From what I know, these apps are also available on iPad, so you’d be doing a killer job of it. And you can include links in that format. ePub is really the best.

    Another suggestion would be for you to sell it straight to your readers, without any DRM. All DRM does is prevent your real fans from copying the file to every device they own in order to read it wherever it’s convenient. Do it the Radiohead way.

    It’ll be tough to include videos for the iPad, since Apple ensures no video can play on their devices. Unless you put them on YouTube.

    I hope my answers help you. And you can bet I’ll be standing in virtual line to get it when it comes out.

  27. Seth Godin on February 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm


    • Walt K on February 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      We’re all writing 237-word rambles.

      Seth Godin gets to the nut in four words.

      • Jet on February 17, 2010 at 5:37 pm

        I have to agree with Walt, but I’m going to offer my own reply anyway!

  28. Jon on February 17, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    1) Yes. Interested and would buy it. Even if it were just a refinement of the original based on the work and experience and feedback you’ve had in the meantime, I’d be on board.

    2) All of the above. Just having it in the house is a motivational kick in the ass. Thanks to the vignette format, if I’m battling resistance or just need a pick-me-up I can open it to any page, read for a couple minutes, and get juiced right up. Everything in the original was helpful — the analysis of resistance, the tips on professionalism, the dangers of amateurism. Odds are whatever experiences and topics you feel in your gut are important (even just to you), they’ll be helpful to the rest of us if only as yardsticks.

    3) The specific feeling of the original wasn’t one I got as I closed the book so much as each time I read. I cannot read more than a few pages without having to put it down and do some work of my own. That, all content aside, it what is most important to me about the book. Three sections:

    i. Resistance (recap 1.0, lay down new insights)

    ii. Professionalism (refine / expand descriptions, behaviours, processes from 1.0, maybe recruit / quote a range of successful professionals on their approach, work day, etc., enough that we can each find someone with inclinations similar to our own)

    iii. The Industry (how the professional becomes part of his profession, concrete steps, what to watch out for, how to maintain your integrity, vision, etc.) Here your personal experiences are especially relevant. They don’t get in the way for me, even when our experiences or processes are completely different. I’m with Camus — “One recognizes one’s course by discovering the paths that stray from it. ”

    How would it differ? I imagine 2.0 would be less internal than 1.0. The first was basic training, the second is a field manual. (Is that an actual term? I’m out of my league with the military metaphors but I hope you get what I mean.) It would be the same in that it’s a collection of things you’ve tried, what has worked and what has not, principles that have become evident in the process.

    5) Hardcover is okay but in fact I’d prefer it in paperback. It’s more portable, more lend-able. I’m not on the e-book bandwagon so I can’t comment. As long as it comes in paperback I’ll be happy.

    All in all I think it’s a worthwhile effort. If your gut is telling you to follow it up, then by all means do so.

  29. Jim Gourley on February 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Mr. Pressfield,

    1) Yes

    2 & 3) Of late, I’ve developed the sense that there isn’t just “resistance” in writing, there are also “traps”. Resistance is, as you define, those forces acting in opposition to our progress. In my mind, “traps” aren’t necessarily forces acting in direct opposition, but mental models (borrowing from Mr. McCallister, here) that distract or derail our efforts. They’re gimmicks, sales pitches, and false aids that aren’t necessarily designed to act in direct opposition to creative people, but instead mean to use our energy and determination for their own profit.

    Bogus essay and short story contests, self-proclaimed agents that aren’t worth the money you pay them, people who offer to “broker” your creative properties or try to scam you on faux publishing agreements. To my mind, they’re all “external” traps.

    Trying to measure your blog’s success by the number of comments made on it, believing that you have to update your social media every 10 minutes to stay in “the public eye”, coming up with pointless blog or status updates because you underestimate the value of having something worthwhile to say, stepping down to your audience’s level in order to “keep the dialogue” with it going. These are all “internal” traps.

    We all feel resistance, but what you’ve done is give it a diagnosis and a solution. You’re the Freud of resistance, perhaps. But when it comes to traps, we fall in them because we have no means at all by which to perceive them. They are, by nature, sneaky. Can you show me how to read the map and the terrain, step over the tiger pits and run from killer boulders? Can you be the Indiana Jones of traps?

    4) I suppose I like the style of WoA and would like 2.0 to be the same, since familiarity with the format would make it more easily accessible. Since it’s a “sequel”, there is the consideration of the reverse model of people buying 2.0 first and thus enjoying 1.0 in the same way as the rest of us going in order.

    5) I have “Story” in hardcover, and wish I’d bought WoA in hardcover originally. Paperback doesn’t last repeated use, and I use WoA frequently.

  30. Tricia on February 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    This is what I think without really thinking about it.

    A paperback works for me best. I want something I can take into the bathtub if I so please. I hate reading off the computer. I like to be able to underline things in different colours, fold pages down, make it my own, etc., etc. Putting the blogs all tghr works for me, so that I can dip in and out (not just the bathtub) when a particular issue comes to me, or simply open at a page, voodoo-like. Repetition is not an issue because sometimes one (me, myself or I) needs the same thing said a hundred different ways before it is finally understood, or acted upon.

    Re: structure: Put the blogs together and see for yourself what themes constellate … you may find you want to elaborate on certain ones … (suggestion)

    Just do it. People WILL buy it.


  31. Carlos on February 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Wouldn’t your request for our wisdom and feedback be “resistance”?

    At any rate, Yes, I would most definitely buy the book, but if I knew what I needed from W.O.A. 2.0, I wouldn’t need to buy/reed it.

    Good luck!

  32. Steve on February 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Your book is a classic. I welcome anything you can add.
    A page a day index card on my computer to think about when I’m stuck?
    A gong to pattern interrupt my resistant thoughts.
    A question to help me focus.

    It’s an ipad…..
    The world is unlimited.

  33. John Tennant on February 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Would I buy it? Doesn’t matter. Does it? Would I read it? Yup.

    What would I like to hear?

    Voodoo stuff! Get into the bolts of it. What is art FOR? Why do we do it? Even when it’s not my career (and I’m happy enough with my career) I still yearn to make art–WHY? Where does the creative impulse come from? What is the relationship between art and life? What is the relationship between art and death?

    I would have so much more time if I didn’t spend so much of it making art that–frankly–no one really cares that much about. I don’t really care if they care. I still go ahead and do it. I have no idea why I do this. I feel it’s right and good to create. But I don’t know why.

    The War of Art is very much about the How of art. I want to know about the Why–every facet. I would connect to someone trying to articulate this to the world.


    PS don’t be daft, of course I’d buy it. Paperback though… I’m saving for a new synth.

  34. Jet on February 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    1) Yes, I will buy the book when you publish it.
    2) Same way War of Art and Bagger Vance got to me – I squirmed and read your words reciting my fears, exposing my warts, but with the sense that we are all in this together.
    3) I’m getting a sense that it won’t be so much a sequel as a different approach to that old devil Resistance. You seem to have a knack for addressing something (same subject different words) in enough ways that you get through to a much larger audience than a writer who writes different subject same language. In other words, it would be very different. As far as three main sections – Growth, Defeat, Victory, something in that line that takes you from overcoming Resistance, the ‘falling off the wagon’ of setback, and that settling in of the real pro that finally ‘gets it.’ When I put down the book, I’d like to feel like a pro, like Junah did when he played the last 18 holes, no thought of the outcome, just….just……on top of my game. And if something shakes me, I’d like to reach back into my memory banks to the page where you remind me that I’m a pro and can’t be shook.
    No 4) ?
    5) Paperback would be my preference. Like Tricia I prefer to underscore, highlight, put sticky notes in the pages I want to read until they become tattooed on my brain, write in pencil in the margins…… I like clicking through edocs to videos but I find them distracting. I like to concentrate on the page I’m reading….. okay so I’m older…….
    If you leave out the personal stuff you take all the blood out of the writing…… when you write personal you reach us.

  35. Linda Abbit on February 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Steven,

    I have not read your book — only heard of it many times. I do plan to read it. 🙂

    I can help you with the marketing question you pose — the person you need to contact for brilliant web-based marketing strategies is Ed Dale and his team at He is as honest as they come and provides the ever.

    Aside from the Thirty Day Challenge, you can find his fan page on Facebook. He’s also on Twitter (@Ed_Dale). He’s on Skype (lives in Australia) and his personal blog is In fact, I believe he’s the one who referred me to Writing Wednesdays. Life is interesting, yes?

    Best of luck with your new book!

  36. Danny Pettry on February 17, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    yes – I would love a part II to the book!

    Also – Would like to mail you a copy of my own book. Had acknowledged “The war of art” as one of the books that had helped me. Mr. Pressfield, email me with your address and I’ll rush a copy of my book to you.


  37. resistor on February 18, 2010 at 1:22 am

    1) i would be v interested in the book if it had the promise of offering new insight.

    2) when i first read your book, i related to it but resistance was winning. then i broke through it and i could lend it to people because i didn’t need to look at it. now, i am stuck again… and need a another kind of breakthrough…

    3) break through/ break down/ + maintenance.

    4) it could have short and longer format

    5) hardcover don’t matter. the first book could be an iphone app… shake it when you need help…

    in terms of adding links, i think it would be best if they were new. interviews with authors or the like but not re-hashing of films like a blog… personal struggles are incredibly helpful.

  38. Laura Liebenberg on February 18, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I would love a War of Art 2.0, in paperback, with more kick in the but bits. An even greater expose of that monster Resistance. Do agree on tackling the “why”-question. Not really the why of art but the why of self undermining and self destruction. Why is it so widespread. Do our lives lack meaning. Pondering such stuff in your unique way would bring insight to others. Don’t leave out the personal stuff.

  39. Alexa Ispas on February 18, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Dear Steven,
    Here are my thoughts:
    1) Yes, I would definitely buy it, even without knowing too much about it. I loved War of Art and found it extremely insightful. I also think you are a genuinely lovely and generous person and I think that is worth all the support I can offer.

    2) The book would be most helpful as a motivational aid, as you suggested, but also as a reminder that someone whom I greatly admire and who has achieved so much in his life is going through the same struggles as I am – which means I’m struggling not necessarily because I’m unfocused, untalented etc. but because Resistance is present in every creative person’s life, to be conquered every day. This was what I found the most useful in reading War of Art, and I would love to read more about that. This also relates to your question on personal stuff – yes, hearing more about your personal battles with Resistance and other obstacles relating to creativity, and how you are overcoming these, would be particularly helpful – again, due to the ‘you are not alone’ feeling that it leaves people with, which can be extremely motivating.

    3. Not quite sure about sections – something along the lines of i) ‘obstacle [Resistance etc.]’; ii) ‘how to overcome them’; iii) troubleshooting might work, but I don’t know enough about what you have in mind about the book to be of much help here.

    4/5. Paperback would be fine – I’d prefer it to an ebook (as I could write notes all over and then keep it on my bookshelf for easy reference, as I did with War of Art), but I’d buy either. If you’re thinking of making it available on the iPad, some bonus videos with you talking about common problems would be nice; videos in which you interview creative people working in other areas would also work; and videos in which you respond to Q&A by readers (basically, the kind of stuff that Robert McKee does in Storylogue, but applied to War of Art topics).

    I’m under thirty and I’m not sure about ‘brilliant’, but here are some web-based marketing strategies you might think of using:
    – having a button on your website that people can download and put on their blog/other projects as a sign that they are also engaged in the War of Art 2.0
    – writing a War of Art 2.0 manifesto, that people can download from your website and put on their wall as a reminder that their goal is to defeat Resistance every single day, and also pass on to friends and colleagues who would benefit
    – putting together a short (e.g. 1-minute) video about something in relation to the book (e.g. how you came to recognise the pervasiveness of Resistance in your own life). You might already be familiar with Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project ( and with her short videos that she used as one of several ways to promote the book – e.g.

    Hope this helps, and by the way I’d be happy to help with web-based marketing for the book in exchange for an interview with you for my blog 🙂
    Very much looking forward to War of Art 2.0, and best of luck with it,

  40. Chris Brown on February 18, 2010 at 5:11 am

    1) I would definitely buy it. I’m a new fan having just found your book via Seth Godin but I read it one sitting and have been reading random snippets daily for a kick in the ass.

    2) A kick in the ass and more thoughts on professionalism would be helpful. I could also see room for some information about leadership and tribes. It seems like most artists are leaders of tribes of some size. What functions of a tribe and leading a tribe are subject to the Resistance? How can your tribe be a Muse?

    3) a. The Resistance Returns, b. Tribes as Muses c. More on Being A Profession.

    I’d like to feel motivated to follow my muse and committed to doing my work, as I did after the first book.

    5) I wouldn’t mind printing it but I’d prefer both versions. Godin releases a lot of good stuff as pdf and I always have it printed and spiral bound. As a reference or motivation though I love having an actual book (doesn’t have to be hard bound). While my printed stuff is near my work area I’m never tempted to grab it for a quick review like I am an actual book that I can see on the shelf. On the other side I have printed single pages from Seth’s stuff to hang on the wall temporarily.

    I’d recommend a paperback and a supplemental electronic version.

    I’m not a marketer but given your popularity I think if you gave copies of your book to a handful of good bloggers to review it you could generate some useful buzz. If there is some piece that you can share for free online that would help too.

    Thanks for your work, you are an inspiration.

  41. william dertinger on February 18, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Mr Pressfield, I would absolutely love the book. I enjoy the stories about overcoming the resistance – we all have it in one way or another. Im not even a writer – Im a cop – and I experience it as well. I would like to see a version for an I-pad but I also like to have a book (hard or soft cover) in my hands. I like to dog ear pages and underline things. The original for me is very inspirational and a kick in the pants. I hope the next one is also inspirational and includes what you’ve learned since the first writing and also some cool stuff from the guys like Jim Gant. Whats more inspirational than his speech you quoted last Wed?

  42. Roberto Meardi on February 18, 2010 at 9:12 am

    1) I would definitely buy it right away. The first book has helped me A LOT! Also, I’m a huge fan of Bhagavad Gita and in terms of taking arms to action, they resemble very much. It’s just that yours is in “modern” language 🙂
    2) I guess it helps in motivational thinking. Taking resistance as something not personal helps a lot! It feels that you’re sharing your “battle moments” with us, and I’ve always loved your passion when describing “battles”
    3) Hmm, since I’m a huge fan of Gates of Fire, something like Dienekes’ advices confronting Fear. I think that Resistance is another face of Fear, and in every battle we lose, it is kicking our asses from behind!. As for the three main parts, I’d love something like (in no particulary order):
    Our mind and it’s marriage with our Ego
    Love (sometimes called Passion) as a solution to Fear (as in Gates of Fire spartan modus vivendi)
    Some deepening in the “supernatural help” that tackles every “hero” in its resurrection path (Joseph Campbell – “The hero with a thousand faces”)

    Finally, as for the feeling it should deliver, I’d choose something strong, passionate like when you reach the end of Gates of Fire and read those epitaph words…

    4)Doesn’t matter to me, but I prefer paperbacks.. If it’s iPad-like content, such as videos and some other stuff, I think that inspirational videos presenting warrior-like content and holy-like (but not bound to a specific religion) content are the best!

    To finish, I’d like to thank you for your great books and I’ll definitely continue reading Writing Wednesdays…

  43. ellis on February 18, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I would certainly be interested in a 2.0 and would likely purchase it.

    I’ve never found a book to be a significant motivational aid, although I’ve read a bunch hoping for such. Resistance was presented so well in WoA that I would like to see an “after Resistance.” Granted, it’s an ongoing, everyday battle and we all must find our best means of overcoming it, but what are the rewards (for art & life) for fighting a good fight? How does it widen one’s horizon? And to what extent does one’s “professionalism” and success as a writer, artist, freelancer, business owner etc. hinge on battling Resistance?

    I would also be interested in how your career has grown or changed as a result of WoA, including some insight into how the changing technological environment has influenced that growth. Where might this internet thing place future artistic endeavors? Tied to that, is the Resistance of presentation the same as the Resistance of production? Winning the fight to produce the work of art or the business plan and then believing in its value, leaves one facing a new fight to present or market it. What are productive strategies for this? How do they differ?

    As for book format, I am fighting the ebook movement. What I’ve found is that I am far less likely to read a book in digital format. The iPad might change this. But at this point, I have a directory full of unread ebooks. Hardback or good paper remains my preference.

    Finishing a good book can evoke a wide range of emotions, but the one I most covet is the desire to flip back to page 1 and start it all over again. But how does one do that? That’s a mystery. Or a chapter in WoA 2.0. . .

  44. Jenny on February 18, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I subscribed to your blog because your posts are always outside of the realm of the blogging community echo chamber. I like that you use real examples because those real examples are far more insightful than a “NAME OF ANY POP CULTURE ITEM Guide to Writing/Blogging/Etc.” Two of my primary interests are how writers got “found” and more in-depth or advanced writing tips. I recently devoured an article on Copyblogger that was about highlighting benefits, not features in corporate sales copy. This article was far more helpful than a more general article would have been because it nailed the exact issue I needed to address at work. I’m not sure if this comment is really helpful or not, but I’m an under 30 currently putting together a social media ROI plan for my company and I’d love to help with whatever you’re working on 🙂

  45. Jennie Spotila on February 18, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Yes, I would buy another book! But I would not like an e-book that I have to print out, or a version that can only be fully accessed on the iPad. Further insights on Resistance would be most welcome, as is motivation and professionalism. I enjoy hearing about how others deal with Resistance, including yourself.

  46. Stephanie Hubbard on February 18, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    As I procrastinate (or indulge resistance) from finishing my tasks this day, I will share my thoughts –

    What about a book of “meditations” so to speak? Like a thing you could read each day. That would be cool.

    Yes on the paper back question. No on the ebook – though videos would be cool. What videos would I want to see? um, I really liked the video of a giant girl marionette in austria or somewhere. But I can’t really imagine videos that would be helpful. (perhaps my lack of imagination)

    Three sections:

    Beginning The Slog Wrapping up.

    I find each of these have such different flavors in resistance that it might be very helpful.

    Okay – so just to let you know – I took a writing class where the teacher quoted from you each week. IN that class I wrote a book – (started on my next one before that was finished as per pressfield ; – ) got an agent for that book – and it went out last year during the carnage of the publishing industry, and got comments from editors like: “Missed my subway stop, loved this book, would have bought it a year ago” etc. all passing SO FAR….in the mean time I’ve been writing the next one. I’m deeply into my second pass of of 350 page novel – (the slog) FYI, I’ve started helping people making documentaries (my day job) and read bits War of Art to them – in fact invoked you today when a guy who really wants to/needs to make this documentary is thinking about quitting because – because – why – he’s depressed, he doesn’t know if he can finish etc. Sigh. Well, I sent him the pressfield quote that will hopefully keep him in the saddle so he can make the shit he needs!

    So – thank you sir. I am happy to answer any more questions about 2.0. And please let me know if you have any leads on publishers with the guts to publish a kick ass – pressfield coached memoir….Thanks for your good work.

    Good luck,

    Stephanie Hubbard

  47. j.c. on February 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    1. Yes. I would buy it instantly. I have already given away copies of the 1.0 book to family and friends. It’s brilliant and I can’t imagine that a follow-up would fail.

    2. I generally hate motivational books but your writing hits a sweet spot for me in that it doesn’t coddle or pay lip service. More of that combined with another take on Resistance would be excellent.

    3. I’m not sure how I would break it up or how it would read. If I did, I’d write it myself. Or not. I would love to have the experience of putting the book down and going right back to work. That’s what the first one did for me.

    4. I like the short sections and the readability of TWOA. I don’t want to say that I want more of the same but in a sense I do. Not very helpful, but honest.

    5. Format is unimportant to me. I do a ton of reading on my nook these days but I would certainly buy this future book in a physical format for the purposes of underlining, adding notes, and for quick reference. I’m not a fan of printing it myself but if it only came out as an ebook I would still read it. Yet another way of saying that the format makes no difference.

    Thank you for TWOA and for your work on Writing Wednesdays. I have learned a great deal from you and am very grateful.

  48. Morgaine Hall on February 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    1. War of Art 2.0 would be great, as long as it maintains the same terse, simple style of the original. The format and writing style of the book are REALLY what set this book apart from other nonfiction books of this type. Also, please don’t lose the exceptionally serious yet humorous tone–writing is a “serious business” which both requires our extreme devotion and an extreme sense of humor, which I think you manage perfectly in the original.

    2. I think the resistance section is fully fleshed out–it’s the professionalism aspect which could use more detail. I think more details on how to actually GO from amateur to professional, especially how this resistance can crop up even when we think we’re doing everything as the book says. What are some real world applications for the professional manifesto? Is there some sort of timeline one could follow in attacking our resistance, thus taking us out of our amateur status? A professional’s battle plan of sorts?

    3. The first section should be focused on being an amateur–the specific traits one should fight in a step-by-step format in an attempt to discover what, exactly, the professional inside the reader looks like. What is their creative routine? What are their most insidious resistant, amateurish tendencies? What is their aesthetic? How can they seek out the elusive professional and eliminate the amateur within them? This should be aimed toward the individual reader discovering which aspects of the original book are most important and/or detrimental to them. Section two should be how one can maintain the professional on a day-to-day basis, once one has discovered that inner professional and his good habits and attitudes. How can the reader stick in for the long haul, even when reaching professional status probably has roadblocks which are specific to this state and are potential killers of the professional’s drive and focus. Section three could focus on the more “spiritual” aspects of being professional, like one’s relationship with the muse. What are practical ways that a connection to and understanding of the muse can help all those engaged in creative endeavors stay focused, driven, and strong when times get tough. I think the final page should be one of inspiration tinged with empowerment. The first book definitely created this sense that being a professional was something within the grasp of anyone who was willing to fight hard for it and be brave during the process of creation.

    4. Hardcover, to me, is a bit overrated. Paperback would be lovely, and ebook would be even better. However, I would caution against ONLY going through one service which restricts your book to one e-reading platform, like the kindle or iPad. There are those of us who would simply love to read an ebook on our laptops…


  49. Michael Ashley on February 18, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    1. I would buy the War of Art 2.0 (probably many copies to give out, too)
    2. It would be helpful as a motivational tool and to gain further insights into resistance, but most of all as guide for being an artist in our new, highly connected and technical world.
    3. If the War of Art 2.0 could be exactly what I want it would focus on the new world of the professional writer and how the internet, social media and online writing tools have started a revolution in the publishing industry. How amateur authors are becoming professionals with just a few clicks. How social media is changing how we write, edit and review manuscripts. How technology is helping us conquer resistance. You would talk about how you use your web site and your blog to build community and connect directly with your audience. (this is a great example of getting direct feedback from your readers)

    If it had three main sections it would talk about 1. The enemy: resistance. 2. The weapons: technology and 3. The revolution: authors going directly to their readers.

    It would take the ideas of the original War of Art and bring them into the world of today. It would talk about tribes (Seth Godin), Twitter (Guy Kawasaki), eBooks (iPad, Kindle) and FastPencil (Online writing and publishing).

    5. The book should be released in all formats at once (hardcover, paperback, Kindle, ePub, PDF) to show how important it is that readers can access content wherever and in whatever form they want. And to show how online publishing makes creating these formats as easy as clicking a few buttons.

    And it would be my honor if you would use FastPencil to write and publish your book. Good luck! I can’t wait to see what you decide! — Mash

  50. Jay Trujillo on February 19, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Just write it! Write it for all of us historians, writers, professionals, wannabe professionals and those of us seeking to change careers and pursue our dreams. I enjoyed your book because it reached out in a simple easy to read format. It was not geared for one profession. Most of us are not writers nor do we care to be; however, many of us dream incredible dreams of pursuing new endeavors. After reading your book, I have decided to pursue graduate studies in History on a part time basis. I have always wanted to teach at the college level and by golly, that is what I am planning on doing. I have spent 4 years of my adult life in the Army and the remaining time in private industry. It has been good me; however, I do not love it. Your book is talked me out of my shell. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Donna Van Tuyl on February 19, 2010 at 11:46 am

    This comment will be brief so I can get quickly back to work. I love the idea of another War of Art book. My preference is for a book, hard or soft cover.

    “You Gotta be Great” is an example of your words that bring to me inspiration and keeps me going. I love the personal stories and the examples of military strategy as it provides the sense of total commitment needed to succeed. A whole book of this would be wonderful. “You Gotta be Great” is my all time favorite….so far, thank you!

  52. Nealy Kendrick on February 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    1. I would buy The War of Art 2.0 or WWII of Art in a flash. Just put a link on your site to Amazon or whomever, and I’d buy. Or just tell me it’s out there, and I’d run to my nearest bookstore and buy.

    2. Such a book would be most helpful to me in the ways that WOA was helpful to me. You told me the truth. You gave me hope. You were ruthlessly honest. You were painfully compassionate. You told me stuff I already knew in ways I didn’t know it, and you gave me full-blown ideas I didn’t even knew existed.
    You’ve evolved and grown since WOA, but in sitting down to write WOA did you ask questions like “Should I be motivational? Should I give my readers a kick in the butt? Should I give my readers insights on Resistance?” Or did you just write your heart (and guts) out?
    What’s going on here, Pressfield?
    3. For War of Art 2.0 to be exactly what I want, it would be exactly what you want it to be. That’s why I trusted you the first time, with the first WOA. You wrote something so nutzoid, so completely unpublishable, so out there, something unique — something so true, so giving, so generous, so helpful, so full of hope, so full of suggestions and examples and amazing dreams and absolute confidence — that it became a classic.
    Now you’re afraid you won’t create another classic? Now you think we can give you what you know you already have or what you fear you’ve lost but haven’t?
    Write it in 90 sections. Write it in one long section. Write it the way it writes itself.
    Why are you letting resistance get to you? Why am I responding to your resistance instead of to you?
    Would it be like the original WOA or would it be different? Write it and find out. Why are you jamming on the brakes while your foot is itching for the gas pedal?
    5. I love books. Paperbacks are less expensive in these hard times than hardcover; so that’s what I’d prefer. I need something to hold, to scratch notes in, to underline, to turn back to certain pages over and over again. I hate downloading and printing lengthy books from my computer. They’re a pain to hole-punch and put together in a binder and then read that way. Please, a book.

    Your survey is your giving in to resistance, isn’t it?
    Or is this a test? “How many of you guys saw resistance in each question, in my every word?”
    Or are you crying out for help? “Resistance has got me by the throat. Save me!”
    Maybe rereading WOA will give you the help you’re crying out for. Maybe truths you told all of us need to ricochet back at ya. Maybe they flowed through you so quickly that you lost traction with some of them; and, if you read ’em back now, they’ll bring you the comfort and the knowledge necessary for you to continue.

    Maybe you need some time to back off a little, breathe deeply, find the calm and serenity at your core. Ask yourself, as Robert Mckee advises, “What do I want?”
    And then listen to your answer.
    Take good care of you. God bless your soul.

  53. Stephen Campbell on February 19, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Wow – it’s exciting to hear that you’re considering a follow up to the War of Art. To answer your questions – Would I buy it – yes. If it came out as a hardback I’d buy the hardback. I too like to make notes in books and can easily do so in a hardback. Would I buy an e-book that required printing out? No, unless there was no other way of getting it. A Kindle or iPad version would be great though. I like having books like the Art of War on my Kindle, as I do now.

    I’d love to read more of personal anecdotes (either yours or others) as a part of the book. I tend to be a literal person and having brief stories to explain a point are valuable to me.

    As to the format of the book, I enjoyed the three distinct sections you used before but have no strong feelings on having those repeated in a new version.

    Your book gave a name to what many of us battle on a daily basis. Additional tools for overcoming the resistance are what I’d hope to find in a second War of Art book.

  54. Mark Penta on February 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Hi Steven,

    Sure I’d buy the sequel, though I feel you’ve said it all in book 1.

    For book 2?:

    1. Maybe every page could say, “Quit reading this page and get to work.” (half kidding!)
    2. I’d love more personal anecdotes.
    3. Maybe more suggestions for avoiding resistance.


  55. Regina on February 19, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Nice marketing plan! It tipped me right over the edge to read the first one.

    It was my first Kindle book. I can carry it with me anywhere as it’s on the iphone.

    I would purchase another if you write it. If the content is as good as the first one, the means of publishing won’t matter. It’ll sell to different folk based on their preference. …dare you to reach the old and young alike! Consider me one of the reached.

  56. Jeff Forker on February 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Here’s the issue. I’m thinking about writing a follow-up to The War of Art. Sort of a War of Art 2.0. Some things I’d like to know from your perspective are:

    1) Would you be interested in such a book? (Tell the brutal truth; don’t be kind.) Would you consider buying it?

    Yes, I am interested in such a book. I would be prone to read it simply because you wrote it. I would be curious what you have to say. I have read numerous books on writing. Every successful writer seems to think he or she needs to enter the writer-on-writing fray. But few are worth the time.

    2) In what ways would such a book be most helpful to you? As a motivational aid? A kick in the butt? For further insights on Resistance? On professionalism? Something else? I have my own ideas on these issues, but it would help me a lot to hear what you think.

    I cannot say if the book would be helpful to me without knowing the content. Such books have been helpful to me. Why not touch on all those issues? The main thing is that you have something new to say and/or a new way of saying (writing) it. The thought that would intrigue me about such a book is this: “Hmmm. What does Steven have to say about this?” Question: What differentiates your fiction and how could that be leveraged in such a book?

    If War of Art 2.0 could be exactly what you want, what would it be? If it had three main sections, what would they be? If the book could deliver a specific feeling as you closed the final page, what would that feeling be? Would it be like the original War of Art or would it be different? In what ways?
    Pretty big a broad questions.

    Ideas might be to mimic the Art of War. Example:
    Structured in a preface and seven chapters, each covering an aspect of writing that mimics Machiavelli’s topics: training and deployment of troops, selection and care of weapons, tactics and strategies, command and control, etc. Not sure how you would associate all that with writing topics. But it can probably be done. Sun ztu also provides the same option. Or combine them. Or just choose your own military topics pertaining to war: recruitment, training, arming, deployment, command and control, maintaining, etc., and apply those to writing topics.

    Does it matter to you if the book comes out in hardcover? (It doesn’t to me.) Would paperback be just as good? What if it was released as an eBook that you had to download and print out–is that worthwhile or a pain in the butt?

    I would be more prone to buy paperback. Hard back is just so damn expensive anymore. And I am not yet on the eBook wagon. Call me “Old School.”

    I’m thinking of constructing the book so that it could be read on an iPad–in other words, including video or links along with the text. If you were reading it on an iPad or other such device, what type of videos would you like to see included?

    Intriguing, but I can’t answer that without having an idea of the content. Could you have some amazons hacking away at writer’s block? Or maybe literary Spartans defending the gates of good writing against the hordes of mediocrity?

    How about personal stuff? When I write, in Writing Wednesdays, of various personal struggles and challenges that I’m dealing with, is that helpful to you or does it get in the way?
    I like reading about the writers I enjoy reading, as long as it is balance with the rest of the content.

    And anybody under thirty who has some brilliant web-based marketing strategies … I’m all ears!
    One word: Viral vids

    Also, I don’t like that cover, above. Does not tie-in with war or writing. To me, it looks like the walls of my son’s recording studio. For 2.0, try to come up with something more dynamic, war-like, and literary. Maybe have James Joyce and Ernst Hemingway hacking away at each other with gladius and lance, both dressed for a toga party.

  57. Sarah on February 19, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I think a “day in the life of” chapter would be cool where you could compare and contrast the daily lives of people who are and are not defeating resistance. Maybe you could go deeper into the problems and successes that are typical of those who are defeating resistance. At the end of the book, I would like to feel like I have a thorough understanding of what resistance looks like everyday and some good motivational chapters I could pick up and read if I feel stuck.

    If an ebook is quicker to publish, I’m all for it! I would also be interested in seeing weekly videos on your blog about resistance and defeating it.

  58. Kevin McGill on February 20, 2010 at 5:30 am

    YES on the IPAD version. I believe this book best serves as a rite of passage from the amateur to the profession. It is the equivalent of the tribal father teaching his son how to become a man. Whatever changes you make, I would keep that ethos. A strong sense that I must change, and that change will turn me pro. In fact, every time I go back to the book, I turn to the pro versus amateur section.
    Some words or interviews from other authors might be interesting. Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchfield. (But of course I’m biased on those particular authors). Some might assume your style of writing is created by your writing ethic. I know that Stephen King, Pratchfield, etc. share your view on writing, but have vastly different styles.

    Thanks Prof for what you’re teaching us,


  59. Richard on February 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    1. Yes, very interested.

    2. I could use more motivation. For example, your recent WW pieces on spec scripts and writing for Hollywood have made screenwriting seem like a fool’s errand. This is what I’ve been doing for 10 years and, though I know it wasn’t your intention, you took the wind out of my sails. How do you keep going, pushing through failure, or is there a time when you know you must perhaps switch media and follow a different path?

    3. It should be a book for people who have not only read the original, but have been using it for years and are thoroughly familiar with it. If it had three sections, how about (1) Failure, (2) Success, and (3) Serenity? I’d like to close the book feeling serene, as if the years I’ve spent struggling with my “art” have not been a waste of time, even if I’m still a “failure” or less than wildly successful in worldly terms. I’d like the feeling that I haven’t wasted my life, that I won’t regret all this on my death bed. That there is a purpose and a meaning to it, even if I can’t fully understand it yet. WoA 2.0 would differ in being an older man’s book, one who has been in the trenches for a few years now.

    5. (You skipped 4.) I don’t like iBooks or ePads or any of that crap. Personally, I feel that Resistance loves the internet with all of its distractions and links to still more distractions. I have wasted entire days on the internet. It could be argued that I’m wasting my time right now. Uh, on that note, let’s move on…

    6. Personal stories and anecdotes — whether yours or others — are enormously helpful when they illustrate what resistance is and how to overcome it. The story of “Largo” comes to mind, though this is only one of many great examples.

    Finally, thank you for all the help, encouragement, inspiration and motivation you’ve given me over the years. I appreciate it.

  60. Ken on February 20, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    I would be very interested. War of Art was a great exploration of the problem, and how to think about the problem of Resistance. If you have concrete ways to work around Resistance, that should be in the follow up.

    It should not be the same book again. The self help, business and religion sections of my local bookstore are filled with books that are the author restating the same basic case again. I don’t need another Mars and Venus book, or another Chicken Soup book. If you have something else to say, say it. If not, don’t tarnish it. If Burroughs had stopped with two Tarzan books, they’d be thought of a lot better than they are. Don’t even get me started on Piers Anthony’s Xanth series.

    There’s a recession on, softcover would appreciated. A download, if it saves me money would be great.

  61. Mark on February 21, 2010 at 1:04 am

    1)I’d be interested. I’d buy it.

    2) Those items you list are helpful, but I can get that help by reading 1.0. It is something else I’d be looking for. I have not felt I was an artist, at least not until I read 1.0 about 9 months ago. For many years of my life, my only calling was to do what my boss told me to do. 1.0 says you beat Resistance by turning Pro and by tuning into your Muse. Being Pro, per 1.0, seems more attitudinal than related to any true mastery of craft. Is that really true? I don’t disagree with 1.0’s description of the Pro attitude, it is incredibly inspirational. But isn’t there more to turning Pro than an act of will? Isn’t mastery of craft an aspect of being Pro? Or is to believe that a resistance trap? Then there is that Muse stuff. I got it. It opened a whole paradigm of the universe I never considered. But, I want to know more about that, more about your conversations with Paul Rink. The hole that needs filling in 1.0, in my opinion is not what comes after, but what comes before. I might be more interested in a WOA 0.5 than a WOA 2.0. 1.0, to me, is written for the artist already a master of craft well-tuned into her Muse(s). As you say in 1.0, Resistance is essentially a survival instinct,which is what makes it so pervasive. Even for the aforementioned master artist , I imagine it is Everest to translate the Muse’s inspiration into the corporeal. It’s a killer even minus Resistance. Resistance prevents the artist from facing not only that intense struggle, but also the very real possibility of failing — crash-landing at the bottom of a 10,000 ft crevasse. 1.0 is effectively about navigating around Resistance as the artist treks from base-camp to the peak. It seems an absolutely perfect guidebook for that. But to even show up at base-camp you need a foundation of skills and at least some sense there is a Muse speaking to you. 0.5 as I see it would be about the trip from sea-level to base-camp. Most of the masses reside at sea-level. It would be a “how to” book, how to connect to the Muse and then how to master the craft the Muse is calling you to engage. But also how NOT to get too lost into the concept of mastery or the concept of being touchy-feely with your inner self as to never engage in the climbs you were meant to climb. I guess the thing about writing is we all have a some level of mastery coming in — so worrying about basic skills may not be so pertinent. Painting, dancing or boxing perhaps needs more effort in basic skill development.


    Section 1: Introduction to Your Muse — Following your Gut (“Feel the force”, Luke)
    Section 2: Nuts and Bolts of being Pro — Mastering the Craft (Training with Yoda)
    Section 3: Prelude to 1.0 — Climbing the Mountain (The Final Showdown with Vader)

    Each of these steps has Resistance embedded within them. That needs to be addressed. So the feeling I’d like to get from 0.5 is an intense desire to beat Resistance at all of these stages, but also recognizing what that Resistance looks and feels like at those stages. This way no matter where someone is on the path 100ft up or 10,000 ft up, they’d have a map to serve as a guide around Resistance. Also I know full well getting stuck on sections #1 and #2 and never feeling ready for #3 is resistance at its best. That needs to be addressed. In the end it must be realized that all of the skill and depth of connection developed in stage #2 and #1 are never going to be enough to succeed at #3. The ONLY way to DEVELOP the skill and connection needed to face #3 is to actually engage #3. That engagement by definition occurs with you being under-prepared. But exactly how under-prepared is perhaps a key principle that can be derived in this book.

    5) Paperback

  62. Panos on February 21, 2010 at 5:09 am

    1) I’d be interested in such a book, yes.

    2)i don’t really care for motivational helpers; the goal each of us wishes to achieve should be motivation enough. If it isn’t, we haven’t found our true goal yet. Which brings me to what I would like to read in War of Art 2.0: Know Thyself. If we wish to achieve anything (and emerge victorious in our own War of Art) we must know our place in the world, and to do that we must rediscover our mind, the inner workings of it. In an interview about the Virtues of War you, mr Pressfield, said that you wrote that novel in the voice of Alexander the Great because you wanted the quality of genius to define it. I bet you would give anything to know what went on Alexander’s mind; I know i would. But such a thing need not only work for figures as monumental as a great conqueror; when we read the writings of anyone on how he sees the world and understands it we get to know ourselves a bit better, by comparing our own experiences with that person. So what I would like to read in the War of Art is your trail of thought; how do you make a decision, how black and white is the world to your eyes, what ethics do you live by and how did you embrace them. I would like to know the story of how your mind bacame both autonomous and connected to the world, both past and present.

    3)I am no writer, so for the three sections i’ll just give you the first thing that crosses my mind: Section 1: Every aspect of writing, both as a proffessional and as someone that just needs to put something down to paper.
    Section 2: How your perception of the world has evolved during your proffesional career; the persons or events that where the impetus for that change.
    Section 3: How do you define yourself through your ethics, your accomplisments, your goals that are yet unfullfilled.
    As for the feeling when I close the final page, I think sometimes not knowing the result is better; this favors purity of thought.

    5) Paperback mostly. Reading a book through a screen takes away some of the magic of reading.

  63. Alexandra Hynes on February 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    1) Yes I would be interested in buying War of Art 2.0

    2) This would be useful for newer insights into resistance and to help kick me in the butt again professionally. The value of such insights is that we need them not just once but repeatedly to fend off the inner attacks that can sometimes crop up daily.

    3) I would love to see it end with the joy that you feel when you realize you can really truly follow your dreams, even if it is a struggle.

    4) A cool marketing strategy could be to tweet or email sneak peaks to select readers from each chapter.

  64. Sam on February 22, 2010 at 5:27 am

    1. I would buy it in paperback as soon as practical. Paperback because least then I know that it won’t be susceptible to viruses, upgrades, obsolescence, distributor changing their mind and deleting it from my account (Amazon and Apple!) etc.
    2. No one that I have read in my past 33 years has as much insight into resistance as you. You have an affinity with the beast. You’ll know what is needed to be written.
    3.Per my point 2 above. All I’ll say is that on my last page, it would be awesome to KNOW that I can and will kick the beast!
    4.Per my point 2 above.
    5.Per my point 1 above. Don’t hand over control to Apple. Why not have a website exclusive to purchasers of the book. You can refer to any video/material via this method. YOU retain control.
    6.As for personal stories, if you feel it relevant, do it. Keep up the awesome work Steven.

  65. Fionna on February 22, 2010 at 9:50 am

    1) Yes
    2) I would vote for for further insights on Resistance And some on how to be creative and professional. I find the concept very applicable in my cubicled work life.
    3) I don’t have a clear idea on what it should be, but I think using the same creative and inspiring energy that you put into the first one would get you a good and interesting product.

    5) Nope but I would prefer paper to e-copies
    Good luck!

  66. Martijn on February 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

    A 2.0 would be terrific!

    1) Yes, I would be interested, provided it is not just a rehash; though even then I have a tendency of giving War of Art as a present to whoever is willing to take it so chances are I’d (re)buy it even if it was a rehash.

    2) What the 1.0 did was provide a completely novel insight into defining Resistance and how it works; rather than making it “discipline is just willpower” it allowed readers to stare the demon in its eyes; lock horns, and defeat it. Having said that, the 1.0 is quite a few years old by now, you _must_ have new insights you can share with us, or have found other people’s insight valuable. Perhaps extending it to professionalism, ethics and decision making, and discipline in general – somehow these all seem to revolve around the same topic as Resistance, something about not letting your mind seduce you out of doing what you’ll be most proud of looking back.

    3) IANAW – so it’s hard for me to put it in 3 sections, however; if pressed, I would do it similarly to the original book, that is, start with the mundane, the stuff everyone agrees on, define the problem and what it is, and finish on the more ethereal, the more difficult to grasp with the middle section a transition between the two. What made the original so powerful is that when you finished the final page, the world looked like a different place; resistance looked like something to be conquered and a muse like an almost tangible little angel on my shoulders. I’d imagine such an experience is very difficult for a writer to deliver on, but that’s why they pay you the big bucks (I hope.)

    4) I sort of answered this this earlier: like the original, but I can’t help but feel Resistance orbits a bigger topic of doing what’s right, discipline, … With resistance we’re seeing only a few of the cogwheels and mechanics in motion.. there is something behind the curtains still.

    5) I’d love hardcover, I’d like paperback, I’d despise ebooks as they’ve never worked for me even when I do print em out (Seth Godin is wrong.) Having video or links alongside the text then doesn’t work for me, as it would violently pull me out of the context of reading. This could be very personal to me, but a good book is one that I have to put down to fully understand the ramifications of what is written from time to time (the occasional “woaahhh” moment) – a book that forces such moments upon me would not be as nice (eg. books riddled with footnotes that you cannot resist to read, or, for that matter, videos or links that end up distracting.)

    Personal anecdotes are useful to relate to, makes us feel like we’re all fighting the same battles in the same war, and makes us wonder what we would do instead.

    Hoping you’ll do it, and do it justice. Looking forward to the book.

  67. Anne on February 22, 2010 at 10:56 am

    1) It would depend totally on what more you were going to say…. it kind of feels like more procrastination to read another book on how you should just get on with it. As much as I did really enjoy war on art.
    2)If you weren’t motivated / kicked in the butt enough by the first book I’m not sure what else you could say to do that. So I would definitely say you’d need to have another angle to make it worth while. Maybe something for people who have a job they love but need to also put some regular and productive time aside for their creative output?
    3) I guess more of a yes now I know what I must do (although after the first one I did sit down and write which was good… but only managed it the once). Definitely different – otherwise why write it? Same style though – love the chatty personal story feel to it. Personally I love all the psyche / Jung stuff so maybe more on that. But that’s just me and my interests.
    5) Hate hardback myself. Would never ever want to buy a book I had to then print out. Yuk. I know my nephew loves reading things on i-pod so reckon they’d be a market for that though.

    Good luck.

  68. CB on February 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm


    1) Would you be interested in such a book? (Tell the brutal truth; don’t be kind.) Would you consider buying it?

    Yes I would. I purchased the more expensive audio version on line but a revamped, updated version (hardcopy, digital, or audio) would be definitely worth buying.

    2) In what ways would such a book be most helpful to you? As a motivational aid? A kick in the butt? For further insights on Resistance? On professionalism? Something else?

    The most valuable thing I got from the War of Art is the discussion on Resistance. I found the War of Art after I wrote my masters thesis can absolutely attest to the fact of how determined a foe resistance can be. But the key distinction I received was to see Resistance as a guide or a compass needle…this to me made Resistance useful as opposed to being an opaque obstacle.

    What I did not like about the book was the chapter on “Fundamentalism vs. Art”…As a general I think it may be accurate. I know several people who are Christian pastors who do actually study ancient texts all the time, and although they might not be the most artistic, I don’t know that they would think of themselves as less free. I was left with the impression that Pressfield thinks religious devotion to texts (say the Bible) means that one can not be an artist. I know many artists (musicians) that would disagree with that perspective. I also did not get the devotion to “the Muse”…it could be argued that studying Homer is sort of type of fundamentalism…which itself I guess would be antithetical to freedom by Pressfield’s lights. I would either get rid of that section or keep the larger point about freedom and integrate it into the rest of the texts.

    So…I would recommend more about Resistance…also, what about other forms of art other than writing? The book as it is sold now seems to be just a guide to help writers get over procrastination. I think the points Pressfield makes absolutely can be applied to domains other than writing.

    Also, I think there needs to be more discussion on what winning means. So what if we overcome Resistance if we don’t know what victory is? As Pressfield points out fear of success can be a form a resistance…but what should be the approach to victory if it and when it appears?

    3) If War of Art 2.0 could be exactly what you want, what would it be? If it had three main sections, what would they be? If the book could deliver a specific feeling as you closed the final page, what would that feeling be?

    Would it be like the original War of Art or would it be different? In what ways?

    Basically I’d drop the Muse talk, drop the fundamentalism vs. art stuff, I would even through out the stuff on “King Kong Lives”. The story was kind of depressing, and I didn’t know what to think about it.

    I think that the feeling I want, when I close the last page is clarity. The best part of the War of Art 1.0 is its discussion of resistance. The discourse there is so true yet so rarely articulated. This is a core strength that War of Art 2.0 should build on. I would recommend a few “key questions” to get the reader thinking about and identifying what they are resisting. I myself use the question “What am I resisting here” to really dig into what I am actually avoiding. Sometimes that alone provides the awareness needed to move forward.

    Another idea I would add would be to incorporate War of Art 1.0 concepts with an example from military history. Is there a connection between how to overcome resistence as articulated in the War of Art 1.0 and how say the first special forces units defeated Rommel? I think providing examples from military history would be a neat upgrade.

    5) Does it matter to you if the book comes out in hardcover? (It doesn’t to me.) Would paperback be just as good? What if it was released as an eBook that you had to download and print out–is that worthwhile or a pain in the butt?

    eBook is fine. I think all possible versions would be great. I wouldn’t bet too much on the iPad…it hasn’t even been released yet.

  69. Kelly Heth on February 23, 2010 at 2:44 am

    No of course I would not buy the War of Art 2.0!

    Why would I buy an extended version of what I read the first time? Steve I read Gates of Fire, Virtues of War and the War of Art because I very much enjoy what you have to say and how you say it and because I find your work; your art original.

    I work for the only health insurance company in the country that is transforming itself into a 2.0 company and it is a roller coaster of challenges but what we see is: Engagement+Transparency+Candor=Innovation. If you want to make a brilliant 2.0 book do it like “Business Model Innovation” ( There are 470 contributors to the topic, the book is a work of art and self-published! Continue to be original but use the social tools that exist today to aggregate great ideas from great minds (Seth Goodin, Thomas Barnett, Scott Berkun, “The Gaping Void” dude etc…) around your point of view and run some portions of your work through the crucible of your blog. My two cents; with much respect.


  70. CB on February 23, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Here’s a tighter copy of the email I sent.


    1) Would you be interested in such a book? (Tell the brutal truth; don’t be kind.) Would you consider buying it?

    Yes I would. I purchased the more expensive audio version on line but a revamped, updated version (hardcopy, digital, or audio) would be definitely worth buying.

    2) In what ways would such a book be most helpful to you? As a motivational aid? A kick in the butt? For further insights on Resistance? On professionalism? Something else?

    The most valuable thing I got from the War of Art is the discussion on Resistance. I found the War of Art after I wrote my masters thesis and I can absolutely attest to how determined a foe resistance can be. But the key distinction I received was to see Resistance as a guide or a compass needle…this to me made Resistance useful as opposed to being an opaque obstacle.

    What I did not like about the book was the chapter on “Fundamentalism vs. Art”…In general I think it may be somewhat accurate. I know several people who are Christian pastors who do actually study ancient texts all the time, and although they might not be the most artistic, I don’t know that they would think of themselves as less free. I was left with the impression that Pressfield thinks religious devotion to texts (say the Bible) means that one can not be an artist. I know many artists (musicians) that would disagree with that perspective. I also did not get the devotion to “the Muse”…it could be argued that studying Homer is sort of type of fundamentalism…which itself I guess would be antithetical to the type of freedom espoused by Pressfield. I would either get rid of that section or keep the larger point about freedom and integrate it into the rest of the texts. Pressfield tells us he “invokes the Muse” and yet also believes in God. Religion is more important for some readers than for others. I would recommend dropping all the God/Muse talk or better clarify what is meant.

    So…I would recommend more about Resistance…also, what about other forms of art other than writing? The book as it is sold now seems to be just a guide to help writers get over procrastination. I think the points Pressfield makes absolutely can be applied to domains other than writing.

    Also, I think there needs to be more discussion on what winning means. So what if we overcome Resistance if we don’t know what victory is? As Pressfield points out fear of success can be a form a resistance…but what should be the approach to victory if and when it appears?

    3) If War of Art 2.0 could be exactly what you want, what would it be? If it had three main sections, what would they be? If the book could deliver a specific feeling as you closed the final page, what would that feeling be?

    Would it be like the original War of Art or would it be different? In what ways?

    Basically I’d drop the Muse talk, drop the fundamentalism vs. art stuff, I would even throw out the story about “King Kong Lives”. The story was kind of depressing, and I didn’t know what to think about it.

    I think that the feeling I want, when I close the last page is clarity. It would also be more interesting to get a sense from Pressfield of why he wrote the book. Does he just want the money? The fame of being an author? Why does he care that his readers overcome their resistance? Does he?

    The best part of the War of Art 1.0 is its discussion of resistance. The discourse there is so true yet so rarely articulated in other sources. This is a core strength that War of Art 2.0 should build on. I would recommend a few “key questions” to get the reader thinking about and identifying what they are resisting. I myself use the question “What am I resisting here” to really dig into what I am actually avoiding. Sometimes that alone provides the clarity needed.

    Another idea I would add would be to incorporate War of Art 1.0 concepts with examples from military history. Is there a connection between how to overcome resistence as articulated in the War of Art 1.0 and how say the first special forces units defeated Rommel? I think providing examples from military history would make for a more exciting and galvanizing read.

    5) Does it matter to you if the book comes out in hardcover? (It doesn’t to me.) Would paperback be just as good? What if it was released as an eBook that you had to download and print out–is that worthwhile or a pain in the butt?

    eBook is fine. I think all possible versions would be great. I wouldn’t bet too much on the iPad yet…it hasn’t even been released. Envisioning a myriad of readers studying their copy of the War of Art 2.0 on their iPad might be a fantasy that is never realized…but I think War of Art 2.0 should written regardless of format. I’d probably buy it regardless of format.

  71. Lynne on February 23, 2010 at 10:20 am

    The only comment I have is if you do an ebook, do a regular text version, one without videos. Also, please have it available in places besides Kindle! I have a Sony Ereader and it’s frustrating that I can’t download WOA onto my device.

    Thank you!

  72. Jen Young on February 23, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Reading about your personal experiences with Resistance adds so much value for me. It gives me a sense of camaraderie. The definitions of both Professional and Territory clarified my thinking about my relationship to my creative pursuits. I find I crave some more practical tactics for how a professional battles Resistance.

    I wonder–how does a professional train? How does he prepare his mind, body, and will? Does she have a Sifu that pushes her beyond the breaking point to discover her true meddle? When I think of war, I think mostly about training and preparing. With action films, I always love the training scenes with an instructor pushing the hero beyond his limit. Same with sports like mixed martial arts–I want to know how they train.

    I look forward to the new book!

    Best wishes,

    Jen Young

  73. John Clements on February 23, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I think Art and art or the arts used as a weapon in war is very effective in the long term. Rubens is one of the foremost artists used inthis way at the edge of the Protestanmt/Catholic divide in europe but there are others including architects musicians and poets.
    Have a go – it is a big subject – I for one would read it in hard back.

  74. Simon on February 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Steven,

    Yes, a version 2.0 sounds like a great idea.

    What moved me most in ‘The War of Art’ was when you were talking about your own failures, which enabled me to empathise with my own failures: the abyss of despair that we allow ourselves to flounder in, rather than take action towards our dreams. If you included more of the discomfort, the setbacks and how you battled inch-by-inch, day-by-day against each one that would be inspirational for me.

    I would like to see more of the ‘Professional’ mindset, as if you adopt such an attitude obstacles cease to be with such a mindset, but instead become challenges to be attacked with vigour.

    I would like to see much of what goes in your ‘Writing Wednesday’ posts included too, as I find this succour to the muse.

    Thanks Steven for letting me know that the struggle I have with sitting and doing is shared.


  75. Simon on February 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I forgot to add:

    If it was exactly what I wanted to be it would be :

    1. Failure – hitting the bottom (letting Resistance have the upper-hand).
    2. Attitude – how to change it, how to begin the climb from the bottom (letting Resistance know that you, and it are equally matched).
    3. The Professional – how to use the same mental attitude, the same concentration to approach and defeat any problems (kicking Resistance into a place where it no longer occupies prominence in your thoughts, but is acknowledged and dealt with e.g. you no longer feed Resistance).

    On closing the book I would want to feel that I was desperate to start the thing I had most earnestly been procrastinating on, the thing that would lead me to grow. I pretty much want to finish the book with the same sensation that I had upon reading ‘The War of Art’: namely, let’s give it a shot.

    No ebooks, downloads or any other thing that I can’t cherish like a paperback and return to again, and again with nothing more stressful than picking the book off a shelf, not having to wait for something to load up. If I feel the need to be comforted by such a book I want to reach out my hand and feel its pages.

  76. John Dethlefs on February 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I would absolutely be interested in buying this book. It would be most helpful be providing further insight on how to overcome resistance, stories of how others did, and the results. I would want it to be motivational, cerebral and practical. The three sections would be
    1. Reasons to overcome resistance 2. Success stories 3. Tips on success
    After reading it I would want to feel empowered. Don’t rehash War of Art, but show applications. Maybe think of some practical exercises? The format does not matter.

  77. Bard Hovenga on February 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I would pre-order this book in a heartbeat. I do think the War of Art stands on it’s own as the definitive book on creativity, but since fighting Resistance is a constant and never-ending struggle, I think it would make sense to publish a second book about it.

    What I would be most interested in seeing would be an elaboration on the “Turning Pro” section from the War of Art. I think you’ve defined the before and after (Resistance and Beyond Resistance) pretty clearly, but artists could always use more every day advice on fighting resistance (which is basically what Writing Wednesdays has been and why I think the series is so popular). I want to see more description of what it’s like being in the trenches, miserable and doubting yourself and barely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, kind of like what is described in this essay:,0,5302903.story. I believe such a message would be a kick in the ass for a generation defined by entitlement and instant gratification.

    I think any personal stories you could tell about your early years would be extremely helpful. What was it like before you achieved any sort of success? How did you feel? What kept you going? How did you maintain the energy and focus to write while still worrying about how to put food on your plate?

    It wouldn’t matter to me what form the book was in. I’d like a paper copy, but e-books are fine too.

  78. Gail Harrison on February 24, 2010 at 4:48 am

    I don’t do books well, meaning I am very prone to starting reading a book, and then leaving it on the shelf to gather dust. However I did not put The War of Art down; not from start to finish. Every word was taken in, chewed and inwardly digested and through your channel I received the greatest gift of Life, I found my authentic self.

    That being said I give you a big YES to pursue your follow up book, which I would personally prefer to be in paper book form. I know you say our thoughts on content and format would help you a lot but you have your ideas. I say~~~~~ Just let them flow Mr. Pressfield, let them flow~~~~~~

    Your own inner guidance will be the sole (soul) source of your next book and I for one can’t wait for you to share this precious gift with us all.

  79. Angela Whitacre on February 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I can’t say enough about how much “War of Art” has affected my life…and it goes beyond just writing. I have purchased at least three copies for friends and family, and I won’t loan my copy out anymore. It’s earmarked and highlighted and marked up, and I return to it every time I feel myself struggling. That said:

    1) Of course. I’m over the moon that you’re considering this project…and judging from the response, seems like you’ve got a bright green light.

    2) It would be helpful in all the ways you’ve listed. Professionalism is high on my list, as thinking of my work in terms of professionalism provides a lot of motivation. Resistance isn’t as high on my list as I feel I have a pretty good handle on what it feels like…but would still be welcome. I would really love to see some incorporation of your Writing Wednesdays. Yesterday’s post on shallow vs. work with depth was wonderful. And it’s all motivational to me. Anything that kicks me in the butt and lands me in the chair in front of the computer.

    3) If you can replicate the feeling I get every time I pick up the first book — and I know you can — then I will have another book I won’t lend out. As for three sections, I would definitely want to see one on Professionalism, on how to maintain a full-blown attack. I would love to see more on in-depth work versus shallow work. You touched a nerve with this topic, and having worked in an office environment, I can attest to the fact that there is a difference between being at work and working at work. Same with writing too…which usually prompts me to stay off the Net. But I’d like to read more about this topic and strategies on how to stay deep in a project longer and more consistently. I would also like to see more of your personal experiences, as you’ve shared with this blog. Can’t think of a rounded out structure of three sections off the top of my head, but these are topics that I would like to see more of.

    4) Different? Perhaps just more of the personal anecdotes…though don’t lose the “general leading his soldiers” tone if you can help it.

    5) Speaking just to my personal preference, I’d prefer a paperback similar to the first one (I’m not sure if there are different editions). It’s the perfect size, it carries well, and it’s easy to write in. Regardless of its format, I will purchase it though.

    Sorry for the long response. I really hope you decide to pursue this project. Thank you for what you’ve shared with us all so far, and thank you for writing this blog. It’s been invaluable to me, as well as thousands of others, I’m sure.

  80. Fernando on February 26, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I loved the book.

    I found two conflicting ideas.

    1. In one of your interviews you talk about wanting to “deglamourize” the writing/creative process, that it’s just about busting your ass and doing the grunt work. Yet, I find the muse, God, mystic part of the book to portray the exact opposite. Almost preachy.

    2. You can almost feel the book instructing you to fight this evil force, to rebel against it and resist it. Yet that evil force is called “resistance”. I just found it a bit confusing, specially at the beginning of the book. Maybe is just those darn French freedom fighters.

    Thank you.

  81. Steve Pubins (SP) on February 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    To us: I like how SP blatantly puts it out there for all to see. Hoping for some energy from those around him. Admitting that he is human. Realizing that beating resistance is a continuous war with small battles won. We believe that we reach a level of success and then we are done. When our basic needs are met we have to dig deeper into the WHY to find motivation. Then self-doubt kicks in. Why bother? Who cares anyway? Now there is a sinkhole to suicide like feelings, the suicide of inspiration. I think this is the feeling SP is trying to get rid of. It’s not out here with us, it is inside of him. The same muse he used to write the first installment of Resistance has to show up to write the next.

    To SP: I won’t recommend what should be in the book or even if you should write it. Never mind my selfish need for your insight. But if you go back to your original premise, that you do what you love, then love it. It might just be a form of therapy that gets you out of this funk. Write it and the rest will follow. But who are we to give you advice? Let’s compare how many times resistance kicked our Asses. Yes, that’s what we will do. Fuel for the Gods of resistance. All hail!

    The Art of War didn’t stop wars. It helped us fight them. The War of Art didn’t end resistance but it helped us score against it a few times. I think there were a few more books written about war after Sun Tzu, Why not another from SP?

  82. Mike Korner on February 28, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    1) Interested? Definitely!

    2) How would it be helpful? Mostly for motivation and a kick in the butt.

    3a) I have no expectations of what it should be.
    3b) I have no preference on sections.
    3c) “If the book could deliver a specific feeling as you closed the final page, what would that feeling be?” Read the last page of WOA — that’s the feeling I want from every book I read.

    4) Like WOA or different? I don’t care. If you make a book that is as awesome as WOA, I will buy.

    5a) Hardcover? Doesn’t matter. I like hardcover but have the paperback for WOA and its size & readability are great.
    5b) If you are planning to make WOA2 as AWESOME as WOA, please make a real book. I download/print eBooks all the time, so the “pain in butt” part isn’t an issue. I put great eBooks into a 3-ring binder and then I make a cover of some sort. Can you live with the cover I make for the 3-ring binder containing WOA2? I do think that having an ebook option is valuable though. Example: The last page of WOA is awesome and I want one copy to post and one to carry with me. I have two choices – visit the copy machine or start typing. With an ebook, I’d would just print the page.

    p.s. Thank you for “the WAR of ART” Steven. I GREATLY enjoyed it.

  83. Christina on February 28, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Steven,

    Loved The War of Art. It has lived next to my bed for a year or so now. I always go back to it.

    A sequel would be amazing. I, like others, would also pre-purchase it. In a heartbeat. I’d prefer a paperback. E-books are great too but there’s nothing like a physical volume to hold in one’s hand and refer back to whenever necessary. Letter-sized print outs aren’t quite the same. Although the videos are a great idea.

    I’d like to see you cover something I have battled for years and still haven’t reconciled myself to…

    It’s the whole money vs art thing. How does a creative mind fulfill creative needs while still making money which one needs to survive? I have been making money as a graphic designer for 10 years now, but I don’t do the same visual art for art’s sake that I did before I turned to design. I was more creative in my spare time when I was a civil servant by day, than I am now as a designer in my day job. Make sense? The joy of art for art’s sake evaporated once I got ensconced in graphic design. Is the lesson here “don’t quit your day job”?

    There’s also the whole art vs. design debate. You could extrapolate this to be pertinent to a lot of different vocations, I’m sure. I know you said in The War of Art that art that doesn’t come from the heart is prostitution. Well, how on earth can a person toil relentlessly on the heart-art without finding himself in the poor house?

    I’d love it if you could cover this in your new book.

  84. Helen South on March 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I wanted The War of Art to be illustrated. I imagined it as a glossy (but small) coffee-table book, full of pictures of mountains and birds and Buddhist monks, Einstein’s desk and Picasso’s studio, portraits of real women and men and the places they create.

    I love its format – short bites that I can dip into in difficult moments.

    I think a hardback that comes with key for the PDF (ooh now there’s a marketing gimmick – installed on a customised, funky artists/writers USB stick) – so I can have both formats. A smallish, chunky hardback, not too huge. Have a designer create a suite of graphics – wallpaper, phone wallpaper, Firefox theme and screensaver that the reader can add favorite quotes from the book to.

    Do you really need a marketing strategy? If it’s as good as The War of Art, we’ll buy it. Get some copies into the hands of key bloggers, I guess. Leo Babuta, Jonathan Fields. And me !

  85. Ken on March 6, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    1. Yes! Please, yes!

    2. I think we can all do with another kick in the butt. I find that the “How to . . .” style works best for me.

    3. Call it “The War of Art: Voices from the Front” or something like that. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The War of Art, but I found myself wondering how other authors, artists, and entrepreneurs approach the same problem. I’d love to see you ask five authors the same questions and share their varied responses. Each of us are built differently and maybe a slightly different take on the same problem would be helpful.

    I attended a photography workshop with David Beckstead – a phenomenal speaker and professional photographer – and he spent almost two hours sharing the same types of ideas and concerns in the photography business. It astounded me to hear the similarities, but when I asked he was unfamiliar with your work. How many of us are working through those same life vs. art vs. Resistance questions? Maybe in a multitude of voices we’ll find even better answers.

    5. I love a good hardcover, but I’d also enjoy seeing it on an iPad. You could link to video interviews, websites of the folks you talked to, discussion forums and so on. Plus, it’d be a great excuse to buy an iPad.

    Thanks for all your work and advice on the blog.

    May the Muse richly bless your efforts . . .

    – Ken

  86. John MacIntyre on March 7, 2010 at 9:51 am

    First off, thank you for writing War of Art. I read it yesterday and have already felt its effects on my work.

    I’ve known about it for a while, but it was my exposure to Seth Godin’s Linchpin, and hearing him talk about a force which is making my career difficult instead of joyous, that pushed me to buy & read it immediately.

    I will definitely buy & read v2. And here’s what I’d love to hear more about:
    1. Yes I’d buy it
    2. The resistance and how to completely abolish it from my life would be most helpful to me. Also, details on how to manage and stay focused on your work when you lizard brain (as Seth Godin puts it) goes into freak out mode. How do you work after having a fight with your wife, losing a major contract, etc…
    3. The ideal 3 sections of another book for me would be; a) further insights resistance identification, b) pushing through it, & c) getting back to flow when the lizard brain is going crazy.
    4. The original War of Art was very concise & pragmatic … which was great. It did leave me wanting, but it was small enough to eat on an airplane & had a strategy I could use immediately.
    5. Regarding hard cover; my first inclination is to say I wouldn’t pay extra for the hard cover, it’s not exactly the type of classic I’d pass down to my kids … but after saying that …. maybe it is.
    6. I think having case studies would be awesome, but in a separate section, maybe an appendix (even it the appendix is 2/3’s of the book). I wouldn’t want to see one of these 300 page books where they have a simple concept, explain it in a paragraph, then have 30 pages of stories as examples.

    Also, I kind of felt that Seth Godin’s Linchpin stood on the shoulders of War of Art, and added to it. I’d love to see Linchpin influence WOA2 … or even if you and Seth did a book together.

    Thanks again.

    I really need this book.

  87. S.J.B on March 9, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Looks like James Scott Bell ‘graciously’ pre-empted your book by publishing , The Art of War for Writers, he divided it into three sections, Reconaissance, Tactics and Stategy, and he hasn’t even been to war.

  88. Doug on March 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Late to the comments, but I just finished reading The War of Art last week, and was very moved by it. To answer your questions:

    1) I would not only buy it, I would pre-order it.
    2) Further insight would be helpful, but more guidance on winning the fight against Resistance would be even better. (Is waiting for such guidance actually resistance? I guess so.)
    3) I would love to see it include “case studies” of how people in different fields fought their battle against Resistance, and won.
    Un-numbered 4th question) It would be like it from a writing style standpoint, but unlike it in how the content focused on tactics.
    5) I don’t need a hardcover version. E-book is acceptable. I plan to buy an iPad and would love to see it take advantage of that platform.

    I don’t think he’s under 30, but I’m sure Mr. Godin might have a tip or two on marketing.

    I hope you’re already working on this.

    Many thanks.

  89. Julia Jones on March 16, 2010 at 9:09 am

    1) I would be interested, I would buy it.
    2) Motivational Aid
    3) I’d love a blue print on things I should be doing to keep the mojo coming.
    4) It would be like PART TWO – of TWOA – sort of like a continuance, but with practical exercises.
    5) No, I bought TWOA in paperback – I like it all tattered…

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