"Friesen offers a journey through the experiential side of writing, led by one’s inner source of inspiration, or “ever-present muse.”
There’s no shortage of books on the writing craft, but many of them focus on its technical aspects while failing to consider the undefinable spark that separates good writers from great ones. Friesen focuses on this spark, or “muse,” in a guide designed to help artists strip away the artifice, doubt, and distraction that may be impeding their writing. Using the analogy of a flower, she presents five petals, or stages, in the growth of a writer: “Opening to Wonder,” “Risking the Heart,” “Following the Energy,” “Freeing the Mind,” and “Expressing with Presence.” To enrich readers’ understanding of each stage, she splits them into 15 topics, such as “Re-enchanting the Familiar” and “Tailored Expression,” intended to deepen writers’ understanding of their muse. Throughout, the author effectively engages readers with reflection as well as writing practice. “Catalytic Reads” begins with an enticement to “Experience This” or envision an environment in which they are one with their craft; “Wisdom Pockets” contains more practical writing advice, and “Living Experiments” encourage readers to try different exercises to employ new lessons. Friesen’s approach can feel a bit esoteric at times, but it also provides tremendous practical insight, shedding new light on common writing challenges, such as distraction, revision, and finding one’s voice. She also encourages writers to confront barriers to their potential, such as self-delusion, and occasionally adds humor to her advice to move writing beyond fear to a more joyous artistic experience.
An original and thoughtful guide for writers." --Kirkus Reviews
"With the goal of making the writing process easier and its words more powerful, Writing with Your Ever-Present Muse is a self-help workbook designed to guide writers to a place of deeper authenticity, power, and confidence in their work, and in their notions of what it means to be a writer. Writers seeking inspiration will appreciate the playful and engaging creative exercises found in Writing with Your Ever-Present Muse, from writing coach Edith Friesen. --Foreword Clarion Review
"Edith is an exemplar of an attuned writer. She brings fresh qualities of aliveness and presence to each page as she unveils a full card deck of magic tricks for hacking creativity and flow. Her insights and practices for integrating and engaging body, heart, and mind in the writing process makes this book a timely and valuable gift to contemporary writers of all kinds, one that is super practical." --Marie Pace, PhD, Peacebuiding consultant, coach, and author
"Edith, your book is a treasure. Your understanding of the unseen layers of the internal writing process is deep, clear and insightful." --Sandra Holy, North Vancouver, Canada