Personality Cafe banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The War of Art is the title of a book by Steven Pressfield on the challenge of the creative process. I bet that many INFP's can identify with this situation:

You have a desire to create, to express, to make your art and a dream to one day make a living from it. And at the same time you struggle with fear, doubt, self-criticism, self-sabotage, procrastination and distraction. To Pressfield, these are all manifestations of a force he has dubbed "Resistance."

This why you are a writer that doesn't write, a painter that doesn't paint or a composer that doesn't compose.

You have moments of creative bliss when the stars align and you feel that you finally found what you were born to do. But eventually the bliss fades. You're work is not finished and you struggle to return to it. Fear and doubt set in. You think, "I'm a phony. I'm not a true artist. I don't have the talent. I don't have the motivation. I don't have the determination."

You admit defeat. You are resigned to living an unfulfilled life. Until the spark of inspiration returns and the cycle continues.

I thought that this thread could be a place for sharing thoughts and experiences on the war of art. It has helped me a lot just to know that other people have a similar struggle. To know that this battle to be creative is not a sign that you're a phony, but actually that you are called to be an artist. The self-doubt just comes with the territory. It's part of the artist's burden.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's a good video on the subject:


"'Eat, Pray, Love' Author Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,449 Posts
Hmm... I kind of had an epiphany about this a while back...
I can fully relate to the self criticism, self sabotage, and procrastination.
For me, that has always come with the territory of being a perfectionist about the things I truly care about. Yes, and that includes my procrastination to some degree, though I have really improved...



In my experience there is never necessarily a lack of inspiration, but a tendency towards growth.
It's when I started really identifying with being A Composer/Musician, or a poet that I lost touch of my creativity.
I was trying to contain my inspiration and force it into these two mediums, but I was burning out. I hated everything I did.
Inspiration pushes us to test ourselves, and look at things in new ways. I had to grow a little, expand.
Drawing was just what my inspiration needed at the time, I learned so much about creativity and actually music from diving into visual art. It was seriously like I had to to learn how to draw before I could/wanted to write songs again. Even now i'm not writing the large orchestral pieces I was, but I'm doing a lot now, and they are things I believe in...
I just had to stop identifying with a creator, and be an instrument of creation.
Inspiration creating through me, allowing myself to go where it will take me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts
Fascinating. I've got to take a mental note to remember this thread.

And I suppose what I just typed is an example of the primary reason I continually feel like I lack creativity. I'm constantly taking "mental notes" and procrastinating doing it. I have my reasons, but still. I find it enlightening that I know why I end up not doing anything.

But really, thanks for the thread. There are some interesting points here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Glad someone brought this up. I read the book about a year ago and have felt guilty ever since for every day that I let go by without working on my novel. I found his diagnosis of resistance very persuasive. I felt that he was too dismissive of the real difficulties that people with families and without servants face (his invocation of Tolstoy writing War and Peace even with a large family was extremely naive), but I'm convinced that the attitude of grim determination he advocates is essential to get any good creative work done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Glad someone brought this up. I read the book about a year ago and have felt guilty ever since for every day that I let go by without working on my novel. I found his diagnosis of resistance very persuasive. I felt that he was too dismissive of the real difficulties that people with families and without servants face (his invocation of Tolstoy writing War and Peace even with a large family was extremely naive), but I'm convinced that the attitude of grim determination he advocates is essential to get any good creative work done.
Although I haven't read all of the book I kinda got the same impression. I remember the part about Tolstoy as well. As if he was the one taking care of the kids :p .

However, I've talked to enough people who are trying to make/succeeding in making a living in creative fields and they tend to say the same stuff that this book is about. It's enormous amount of work and dedication and years and years spend working hard without any guarantees that one day you will succeed. It's hard and willpower is necessarily.
The more I get to know about the reality of creative work the less faith I have in myself ever being able to do it. It just seems too much. Too many sacrifices. If you need to be (mentally) a marine like Pressfield then fuck it, I quit here and now.

Errr I have so much to say about this subject but don't know how to say it... I fear that in the end the real genius in arts is the kind of strong willed, goal oriented attitude that weak, procrastinating dreamer like me will never achieve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,202 Posts
nice one, i suppose it's aimed at bashing the art of war?

not much art when you're dead. :laughing:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,794 Posts
My goodness that sounds just like me... *sigh*

I'm always creative, when I'm not drawing I'm writing, when I'm not writing I'm making music. So I live and breath creativity...but the doubt is always there, whether the work I'm creating truly expresses what I'm feeling inside. And that feeling "will anyone understand what I'm trying to say?" is always deep within me.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,794 Posts
Hmm... I kind of had an epiphany about this a while back...
I can fully relate to the self criticism, self sabotage, and procrastination.
For me, that has always come with the territory of being a perfectionist about the things I truly care about. Yes, and that includes my procrastination to some degree, though I have really improved...



In my experience there is never necessarily a lack of inspiration, but a tendency towards growth.
It's when I started really identifying with being A Composer/Musician, or a poet that I lost touch of my creativity.
I was trying to contain my inspiration and force it into these two mediums, but I was burning out. I hated everything I did.
Inspiration pushes us to test ourselves, and look at things in new ways. I had to grow a little, expand.
Drawing was just what my inspiration needed at the time, I learned so much about creativity and actually music from diving into visual art. It was seriously like I had to to learn how to draw before I could/wanted to write songs again. Even now i'm not writing the large orchestral pieces I was, but I'm doing a lot now, and they are things I believe in...
I just had to stop identifying with a creator, and be an instrument of creation.
Inspiration creating through me, allowing myself to go where it will take me.
I think I understand what you are saying. I love being creative, I love dipping into all forms of creativity and I've always felt like a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Only now am I learning that I can find ways to combine my creativity. For example I thought I was going to be an illustrator and that was it...but when I'm not illustrating I'm writing and when I'm not writing I'm making music. So I've been thinking that I can write children's stories/fairytales AND illustrate them so that combines two of my interests. And my music, well music can include lyrics so that means my music includes my writing!

I'm trying not to limit myself but instead embrace all forms of creativity and find a way to use all of the skills I've learnt over the years. This helps to keep me interested too.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top