Writing From the Heart: A Transformational Writing Retreat

Writing From the Heart: A Transformational Writing Retreat

Writing From the Heart: A Transformational Writing Retreat

SAVE YOUR SEAT for our 4th annual retreat:

July 14-19, 2024, in Stockton Springs, Maine

Get away from it all and immerse yourself in writing your heart-centered book.

You have an amazing book idea. The muses have been rather insistently whispering in your ear about it for some time now.

However, that’s about as far as you’ve gotten, because:

  • You don’t know where or how to begin writing your book.
  • You have trouble fitting writing into your always-busy schedule.
  • You’ve never written something so BIG before – it’s overwhelming to even think about.
  • You sit down to write and that blank page stares you down. (Muses? Muses?! Where did you go?)
  • You don’t know if your idea is unique, if your writing is any good, or if it’s even worth bothering.

You want the expert status and wider reach that being an author will bring. You need to express your creativity and share your wisdom – without all the angst and struggle.

You long to tap into the stories deep inside yourself, the ones that will uplift and inspire your readers. You want to change the world for the better.

And yet — nothing has happened. You haven’t worked on your book at all.

You’re stuck. You don’t know where to start. Or where you’d even find the time. (And if you did — would anyone even read it? You wonder.)

But you just can’t resist the call of those muses!

This book is basically bursting out of you. You get ideas in the shower. On walks. At the grocery store. Random people in your life are saying “You know, you should really write a book.”

You’re sick of putting this off. It’s time to make it happen.

You want to finally write the damn book!

Let’s do this.

Introducing Writing From the Heart: A Transformational Writing Retreat

On the ocean, at the height of the beautiful Maine summer – this is where you’ll write your book.

Imagine yourself settled in a lawn chair by the Penobscot Bay, writing your book…

During our time together, you will:

  • Write a big chunk of your manuscript,
  • Create a solid writing habit to take home with you, and
  • Reconnect with your essential message to the world – your purpose as a leader and role model.

The Writing From the Heart retreat is the place where you dive deep into writing your book – in a gorgeous and quiet seaside setting, guided lovingly to the page by an expert.

Lodging and all meals (custom-created by our Empathic Chef) are included, so you can take a break from daily life to relax and immerse yourself in your book project.

Self-nurturing allows you to write from a place of joy and relaxation, which will shine through in your work.  (Think yoga on the deck, oracle cards, guided meditations, and walks by the sea)

You’ll take your book from a vague idea to a vibrant work-in-progress – while feeling supported and uplifted in the process. Writing your book shouldn’t feel crappy. It should make you feel alive, nurtured, and connected – just like you want the people reading it to feel!

7 reasons you’ll LOVE Writing From the Heart: A Transformational Writing Retreat:


In this immersive writing experience, everything is taken care of for you. You don’t have to worry about making meals, doing housework, or driving the kids around. Your work life is on pause. This time is just for you and your book.


This retreat will leave you feeling relaxed and inspired. You’ll free up the resistance, self-doubt, and questions that are keeping you stuck… and harness the momentum to finish your book.


I can’t promise you that you’ll finish your whole book during this week – and rushing wouldn’t serve you anyway. But you’ll write a significant chunk, and walk away with a solid writing habit you can practice on the regular at home – even when life gets crazy.


Because sometimes you just need someone to tell you if you’re on the right path… and it’s hard to have good ideas in a vacuum. You’ll write surrounded by a community of awesome creative people who get what you’re doing and why. We’ll hold space for one another – during and after the retreat.


The guidance of an experienced writing coach – that’s me – will help you write productively, develop your voice for this project, and overcome any resistance that rears its head.


This isn’t a “buckle down and force yourself” kind of retreat. Writing your book here won’t feel like work.  The energy of this retreat is relaxing and uplifting. You’ll discover how delightful following and sharing your creative wisdom can be!


The natural beauty of the Maine coast inspires your creativity and refreshes you, mind and body.

“Having Nikki Starcat Shields in my corner allowed me to go from spinning my wheels for over a year with an idea and a TON of transcribed pages to actually getting my butt on the cushion and a book draft in front of me. Nikki brings love and magic to her book midwifing. She offers kindness where I’d been cracking the whip and curiosity where I’d been judging myself. I had tried forcing my DIY writing process, but it kept fizzling out. New words would just roll off my collection of dense content. Nikki’s gentle persistence soaked in over time. With Nikki’s support, I was able to find solutions that worked for my personality and creative process so my vision could finally take root.

“Getting through this first book has been monumental for me. Now that I’m in the final stage of editing, ideas for the next one are already starting to sprout! I’m carving out time to be at Nikki’s writing retreat this summer because I know that doing this with support and ease will beat the ever loving pants off of trying but ultimately not actually doing it on my own.” – Jennifer Elizabeth Moore, Modern Medicine Lady and author of Empathic Mastery and other books

Let’s take a moment to daydream about your Writing From The Heart experience…

You arrive at the beautiful seaside cottage in the early evening on a gorgeous summer Sunday.  

YOU SEE: The deep blue of the ocean, the green grass, and the trees waving in the cool breeze. A wide porch with welcoming chairs… perfect for settling into for an afternoon of stress-free writing.

The wraparound porch, where many amazing new ideas will be born!

YOU HEAR: The soft crash of the waves, the cries of seagulls – and the hush of this quiet haven. The soft murmur of voices as the other participants begin to arrive. You can feel that this week is going to change a lot of things for you.

YOU SMELL: The fresh salt air, the fragrance of beach roses, and a hint of incense. The delicious evening meal being prepared in the kitchen… your belly and your creativity are going to be WELL FED this week.

YOU TASTE: Your favorite beverage, as Nikki welcomes you with a glass of wine, iced tea, juice & seltzer, or fresh cool water. You take a sip and get centered before you step into writing mode.

YOU TOUCH: The weathered wood of the porch, as you kick off your shoes and enter this sacred space. Ground yourself in this immersive experience and know that your ideas will flow freely.

YOU SENSE: This will be the place where your book comes to life, as you are held gently and nurtured lovingly.

“Nikki is the real deal- she walks her talk, and does it firmly and with true backbone, but is also somehow one of the softest, warmest, and most genuine people I’ve ever met. She CLEARLY knows her stuff, and is a benevolent leader and teacher, and able to REALLY well communicate and break down even formerly daunting info, so it feels do-able and manageable. Nikki exemplifies the inner work- always feeling grounded, calm, and radiating heart energy.” – Britt Bolnick, In Arms Coaching and author of The Magick of Bending Time In Your Sacred Business

Wondering exactly how we’ll spend our time together?

Here’s a snapshot of your retreat experience:

You’ll arrive Sunday evening and get settled in. You’ll have a chance to meet the other retreat participants, sign up for your daily check-ins, and relax by the sea.

Then, Monday to Thursday —

Each morning after breakfast we’ll have a group check-in. The support and accountability of a community of writers is invaluable. You’ll be in the company of other writers who get where you’re coming from, lift one another up, and learn from each others’ lessons and triumphs.

Then it’s time to write. We begin each writing session with specific intentions, so you’ll know what you’re working on and avoid overwhelm. Each day you’ll have two 2-3 hour chunks of writing time, in the morning and again after lunch. You’ll have a one-on-one check in with Nikki to assess how it’s going and ease you through any blockages. There are many cozy spots, indoors and out, to do your work. With expert support at hand and no distractions, you’ll emerge from your writing sessions feeling productive and inspired.

The dining room, where our community will gather for sustenance and support…

We’ll eat lunch together in between writing sessions. You’ll also have free time to read, meditate, or walk along the shore.

After dinner, the evening will include an optional event to enhance your retreat experience – like a workshop, salon, or ritual. You don’t have to do this alone. Writing workshops will bring you additional wisdom that you’ll use as you write your book. A salon gives you the opportunity to share your work and receive valuable feedback from other writers. A ritual will deepen your connection with your creative wellspring. Or you can choose solitude, perhaps to read, daydream, or get some extra sleep.

We wrap things up on Friday and prepare to emerge transformed…

On Friday, we’ll have our final writing time, plus a wrap-up session where you’ll set an intention for your writing upon your return to daily life. We’ll celebrate your progress and reflect on the magic of the past week – and talk about ways for you to bring it back home and keep your momentum. After lunch and perhaps a final walk by the water, you’ll head home, bringing the magic of retreat with you.

These are the gifts you’ll bring home with you from the seaside:

You’ll leave the Writing From the Heart retreat with:

  • WORDS WRITTEN. Lots of them.
  • Clarity on where your book is going next.
  • A writing habit and ritual that you can bring back to your busy daily life.
  • A grounded, centered approach to your creative work,
  • And tools so you can approach your writing from that place.
  • A lovely aura of relaxation and connection to nature.
  • A new community – an ongoing connection to me and the other folks at the retreat.

“Nikki is kind, compassionate and provides a safe place while also offering the best kind of accountability- not the punitive type that leaves you feeling less than, rather the inspirational type that leaves you feeling more capable than you ever imagined.” – Stephanie McLeod-Estevez, LCPC, Creative Transformations LLC

Places are strictly limited…

There are only 10 spots available for this retreat, to ensure that I’ll be able to work with each writer one-on-one in depth. As of now, 8 of the spots are already taken – so there are only 2 left. 

Your investment for the full retreat, including lodging and all meals, is $2499.

Monthly payment plans are available!

Apply now!

What happens next:

  1. When you click the button, you’ll be sent to my calendar to book a 15-minute consult call (if we’re already in touch, you can also email or DM me).
  2. You’ll receive an email with the Zoom link for our call.
  3. On our call, we’ll chat about whether the Writing From the Heart retreat is right for you.

“Nikki is fun to work with and is in tune with the desires of her clients. I’ve become better at looking at myself and my writing practices. I’ve gotten specific tools to apply to my writing process. I really enjoyed working one on one and having specific feedback.” – Megan Oberle

Meet your guide for the week:

I’m Nikki Starcat Shields — writer, book midwife, and your official “write the damn book” cheerleader.

I’ve been exactly where you are today. It took me years to finally begin writing the book ideas that kept nagging at me.

And there were plenty of ideas – but life was always crazy-busy, and that plus fears and lack of self-confidence held me back. Luckily, the muses were persistent.

Now I’m the author of six published non-fiction books, and I’m in the middle of writing a contemporary fantasy series. Through trial and error, I’ve discovered how to write books – and I’d love to share that wisdom with you.

I delight in sharing what I’ve learned about being a writer with those who have the longing to write a book, but no idea where to start. I teach people to be Thriving Artists, writing their heartfelt books while also nurturing themselves and their creative lives. The world needs the wisdom that we – the wise ones, the change-makers, the awakening – have to share. As we share our inspired ideas from a place of confidence and empowerment, we assist in the expansion of human consciousness. Your book is SO MUCH MORE than just a book!

In my work as a book midwife and transformational retreat leader, I specialize in helping you bring your unique voice – your expertise, your passions, your most cherished stories – to the page in a way that will engage and delight your readers.

During the retreat, you’ll have a daily one-on-one check in time with me. I’ll guide you through any blockages or resistance that come up. I’ll help you develop a customized writing ritual, so you can bring the magic of the retreat home with you and keep writing. I’ll give you gentle, honest feedback about your writing, and together we’ll point your book in the right direction.

“I really like the way Nikki guided us in a soft and gentle manner and gave us the space and the tools to craft our writing practice. She breaks it down in achievable and clear chunks and I love the woo-woo she brings to it, too. She has depth and knowledge when it comes to the transformative properties of writing and how to guide her clients to deep shifts and enduring understanding of the process. It was a fantastic experience and helped me start on my path to become an author.” – Andrea Parker, Intuitive Business Guide and Educator, Founder of The Rejuvenation Grange

Questions you might have about the Writing From the Heart retreat:

What if I really don’t have the time in my life for a retreat, much less a regular writing habit? One of my clients wrote her book in less than a year by writing for 20 minutes, four times a week, in the early morning before her four kids woke up. I can help you make the time to write. As for the retreat? Consider it a vacation. You remember those, right?

What if my writing is no good? Writing, like anything, improves with practice. I’ll get you writing, and then help guide you to your writer’s voice, the one that reflects the true you and is perfect for your book project. We’ll start where you are, and then get you there, one step at a time.

What if I can’t afford to invest in my book project? You’ve been inspired to write your book for a reason, but so far it hasn’t happened. By investing in support, you’re telling the Universe that you’re serious about writing your book. Writing a book will open up new opportunities for you in many ways – expert status, a wider audience, and inspiration for future projects. Your book is worth it!

(NOTE: or you can reach out and ask me about available “pay what you will” spots for my virtual quarterly retreats – an affordable option to experience a writing retreat experience from your own home for a custom price)

Is there a payment plan? Yes. Click the Apply Now button below and we’ll chat about all the options during our call.

It’s time to ditch the old model of the starving artist, toiling away in an attic.

Writing is alive, collaborative, and magical. Sharing our wisdom is a vital contribution to the expansion of human consciousness. We are building a new global society, based on the values of the Feminine Divine. This retreat provides a sacred container in which aspiring authors – like you – not only birth their heartfelt books, but discover the power of creativity to enhance their connection with their souls.

I know you’re worried that you don’t have what it takes to tell your story, that your life is too full, and that writing a book is overwhelming. I want you to know that the world needs to hear your wisdom.

This is a call that you can’t just ignore. You’re being drawn to write this book for a reason.

You can do this – in community, with support. You can write your book while feeling nurtured and empowered.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the retreat!

~ Love,

Nikki Starcat Shields
author, book midwife, leader of transformational writing retreats

Apply now!

I can’t wait to share this view with you at the retreat!