Writing Brave

Sayulita, Mexico

January 22 – 27, 2019

Casa Corazon

Five full uninterrupted days away from all distractions – from email and social media, from the fridge and your partner/kids/desk, from any old stories of “I can’t” or “I’m lost and that’s a bad thing.”

In a private compound listening to the waves, being fed delicious healthy food, with a cracker-jack writing coach and teacher to lead you to your most courageous writing, no matter your subject or genre.

Bring your notebooks and pens and your computer, an open mind, an adventurous spirit, and a writing project that you’re excited to work on for 5 glorious days in a row!

Whenever and wherever you can take a retreat with Jen Louden, do it!You will be nourished in ways you never dreamed–creatively, spiritually, emotionally. You’ll make new friends with interesting and accomplished women. And, yes, you will write–maybe the best writing you’ve ever done–and you’ll leave with all the inspiration and confidence to keep you writing once you’re back home. I’ve done more than one retreat with Jen and that has always been my experience.

Beth Howard | author & blogger | theworldneedsmorepie.com

Joining a writing retreat with Jennifer Louden was a gift: a nourishment to my creative self, to the words and the mystery on the page that was beckoning me, and to the story that I know needed to be told. One of the best parts of the experience was finally carving out enough generous space to do the writing I know I need to do in this world. She is smart, wise, and truly an expert in not only storytelling, but in leading and guiding you through your own writer’s journey. She held the space and created a container for us to be open and honest and brave. I’m so grateful for her wisdom and skill at leading groups of people—she makes it seem easy (it’s so not!) and lets you step away from whatever life is beckoning you with to finally, for a moment, for a day, for a week: get to tell the stories that only you can tell.

— Sarah K. Peck | Writer, Entrepreneur & Yoga Teacher | SarahKPeck.com

When Is It?

Tuesday, January 22 – Sunday, January 27, 2019

Here’s the schedule:

Arrive between 4-6. Settle in. Have a swim in the pool or a half-block away at the beach. We will have a lovely meal at 6:00 followed by an opening circle where we set our intentions and get clear on our work for the week.

Wednesday – Saturday:
 Each morning will start with either Dance Yourself Awake free form creative movement to great playlists OR a silent beach walk. We will vary!

Next we’ll eat a healthy continental breakfast and follow that up with a meditation and a very short “get inspired and get to work” session. Then everyone will scatter about the property (so many lovely places to write). We will come together before lunch for some learning and talking.

During the retreat, I’ll meet with EACH of you about your writing and projects at a scheduled time.

For lunch we’ll provide food for the group. You can eat with the group or on your own. You can write more or nap too if you prefer. This is your time!

After lunch, we will gather to read and write more, and there be time for relaxing, swimming, and reading. Because we all need rest!

There is an all levels yoga class every afternoon at 4:30 followed by a leisurely scrumptious dinner and then a different magical activity every evening.

Every evening we will meet for delicious dinner followed by an informal teaching session and Q&A time. I’ll help you develop your focus each evening so you can keep moving forward the next day.

Our last morning together will include writing prompts and discussion to help you determine exactly where to go next with your writing and ways to take the energy of the group with you to sustain you in the future! We will end before lunch time. You can safely fly out that afternoon starting at 3 pm.

Thank you so much for the time and energy you gave all of us in Mexico this past February. When I signed up for your retreat, I thought that I was doing it simply to make my blog posts better… even though you quickly called my bluff. You knew it was deeper than just becoming a better blogger even if I didn’t know it yet. This year has turned out to be bigger than I could have ever imagined and my time with you in Mexico had a lot to do with that. Since your retreat I’ve quit my job to coach, blog, speak, write and lead my own retreats. And so much more. In the work that we did on your retreat it set a foundation for me to leap into deeper work. I have 10 thousand words in my fictional novel and I’m working on a book proposal for a book about this year; think Eat Pray Love meets self help. Thank you so much for everything.

— Alisha Wielfaert | YokeAndAbundance.com

Who Is This For?

You should come to Writing Brave in Sayulita, Mexico if you…

  • Have lots of ideas of next steps bubbling to the surface and want clarity on what to do next
  • Need time out from life to concentrate deeply
  • Are ready to bring more courage and truth to whatever it you are writing
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    Want to experience pleasurable ways to generate a lot of words quickly with a purpose
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    Want to learn when to focus on having a reader and when not to
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    Are ready to detach from the outcome and focus on the most important aspect of writing
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    Learn to skillfully work with fear so you can share the stories only you can tell
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    Know Jen’s work and would love to spend a week with her and a group of fantastic women

Who Is This NOT For?

You should NOT come to Writing Brave if…

  • You do not want to discuss your work or learn about writing.
  • You are grumpy, cynical (especially about writing) and generally pessimistic about life.
  • You are looking to get fixed and think 5 days away will be the silver bullet solution.
  • You’re looking only for a vacation or you freak out if you’re disconnected from the internet for long stretches of time.

Writing Brave Logistics

I am so delighted to share the truly one-of-kind nourishment that is Casa Corazon, a sanctuary and private home created by Billie and Tim Taylor. Tim’s devotion to exquisite environmentally friendly design and Billie’s years of expertise in parenting coaching, council, and shamanism have blended together to shape one of the most beautiful spaces I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

Your heart, body, and writing will be inspired. The house is a large walled garden compound a half block from a white sand beach with filtered water throughout, a small magical swimming pool, and nooks and crannies for writing throughout.

Billie is available for shamanic / energy treatments and can also book wonderful massages for you. You will also have the ability to book time before and after the retreat directly through Casa Corazon should you choose.

Where Will I Stay?

Your retreat includes the cost of lodging and we stay right at the beautiful Casa Corazon. This means that your retreat and your accommodations are all in one place, which creates a relaxed, intimate and quiet setting.

How Do I Get There?

Upon acceptance, we will send you travel info to help make coordinating your trip to Mexico easy and effortless. You will fly directly into Puerta Vallarta. Sayulita is about a 40 minute drive from the airport. There are many affordable flights to Mexico especially if you book early!

We’ll also invite you to a private Facebook Group after you register where you can meet each other and arrange to share transportation to save a little moola.

We will also provide you with a very safe and reputable transportation company who will meet you outside customs and take you in air conditioned comfort to the house.

What Should I Pack?

January in Mexico is beautiful. You can expect temperatures ranging from 75-80 degrees during the day and a little chillier at night. There are air conditioning units in each room although you probably won’t need them in January.

  • Comfy clothes to write in
  • Clothes and shoes for walking into town (cobblestones)
  • Bathing suit if you like to swim (you will want to!)
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    You laptop or tablet
  • Your laptop charger
  • Your phone (but expect to turn it off)
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    Notebooks and pens (even if you prefer typing to handwriting you will need paper and pen)
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    Anything else you need to support you in your writing

How Many People Will Be There?

Just 14 women plus me! I’m keeping this retreat small so you can:

  • Make real progress on a project through more writing time
  • Listen deeply to where your writing needs and wants to go
  • Get soulfully orchestrated, safe, and truly useful feedback
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    Laugh and sigh with like-hearted women
  • Relax and take the wonderful property my friends Billie and Tim have created – the koi pond! The decks! The art!
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    Rest. Deeply.

What might be different for you after five days devoted to your writing in a beautiful place, supported by a seasoned writer and powerful practices designed to open your creative flow?

Who Is Jen?

Jennifer Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the concept of self-care with her first best-selling book The Woman’s Comfort Book. She’s the author of 6 additional books on well-being and whole living: The Couple’s Comfort Book, The Pregnant Woman’s Comfort Book, The Woman’s Retreat Book, Comfort Secrets for Busy Women (The Comfort Queen’s Guide to Life in hardcover), The Life Organizer, and A Year of Daily Joy. There are about a million copies of her books in print in 9 languages.

Jennifer has spoken around the U.S., Canada and Europe, written a national magazine column for a Martha Stewart magazine, been profiled or quoted in dozens of major magazines, and appeared on hundreds of TV and radio shows, even on Oprah. Jennifer has been teaching retreats and leading workshops since 1992, and creating vibrant on-line communities and innovative learning experiences since 2000. She married the love of her life at 50, and is the very proud mom of Lillian and very proud bonus mom to Aidan.

Jen’s superpower is… moving you from thinking and talking to DOING. Past retreat participants have self-published books, written national columns, gotten book deals, created and taught in-person and online courses, began full-time writing careers, and learned they are in fact, writers! Nothing would make Jen happier than to help you start and most importantly, FINISH some aspect of your writing project. Her belief is that we all have scary sh*t we want to get done and we’re more likely to do it when we’ve got a coach in our corner and a community of doers surrounding us.

What's Included?

When you register for Writing Brave, you’ll get:

  • A pre-retreat email coaching form to help you prepare
  • Your choice of 3 types of accommodations (see below) a half-block from a white sand beach
  • Three delicious healthy meals each day
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    Writing prompts and meditations to open your creative trust and imagination & structure your writing effectively
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    Small group reading circles to optimize helpful insights into your project
  • Time to rest, explore, paddle board, shop, read, and swim
  • A coaching session with Jen ($500 value)
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    Best practices for keeping the writing going at home
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    Periods of silence to help you dive deeper

How Much Is It?

This retreat has three different options depending on which type of accommodation you select. Please note that all room types are first come, first served.

  • 1 Single/Shared Bath Spots: $2,500.00 
  • 1 Double/Shared Bath Spot: $2,415.00
  • SOLD OUT 3 Triple/Shared Bath: $2,125.00 or 4 payments of $535

Meals will be provided during the retreat. If you have any true food intolerances that will make you ill to eat, we will do our best to support you. But please know that we cannot guarantee restrictive diets can be accommodated. We will need any food intolerances immediately upon booking your spot.

Payment Info

Payment to be made in full. You can use any credit or debit card (Visa, AMEX, Mastercard, etc.).

Cancellation / Refund Policy

Need to cancel securing your spot? If you cancel more than 90 days before the retreat begins, we will return your payment minus a $500 non-refundable deposit fee. If you cancel within 90 days of the retreat, we will not refund any monies, but you are welcome to sell or give away your spot, contingent upon the writer filling out the questionnaire and/or having a short conversation with Jen first.

What If I'm Not A Writer?

If you want to sign up for this retreat because you have a writing project you want to start – and maybe finish – then you ARE a writer. Sure, we’re all a work in progress and some people at the retreat may have traveled further down the writing path than others, but none of us – not even me – are at the finish line. Because there is no finish line!

We all have so much to learn and I promise that if you don’t feel like a writer now, you’ll feel a heck of a lot more like one by the time you leave the retreat. This is a safe place to explore your writing, who you are as a writer, and get ideas for the kind of writer you’d like to grow into.

What If I Have Another Question?

Feel free to send an email to jen@jenniferlouden.com. My team is happy to help.

I’m Ready! How Do I Register?

Click below to complete the application and apply.
Once we receive your application, and your initial payment, we’ll review it and let you know within a day or so if you’re accepted into the retreat. If for some reason you are not accepted, we will promptly refund your initial payment in full.

What Do Others Say About Retreating with Jen?

If you’re thinking of going, don’t think, JUST GO. As a workshop teacher myself and someone who demands a lot from the workshops I take, (I’m picky!) you’re in for a well-designed and lovingly delivered writing retreat. Jen is a true pro and it really is a gift to get to work with her.

— Lisa Sonora | American Artist and & Creative Business Consultant

I came to Mexico with a fairly complete manuscript. My hope was to continue to find clarity in the story arch and desire line and be able to come closer to a final draft. And yes, that happened! The retreat setting is beyond fabulous and Jen has a brilliant way of meeting writers where they are in the process. I appreciated having one-on-one time with Jen to help guide my project. I left feeling refreshed, creatively full, and ready to step into the completion stages of my project. Maybe most importantly, I walked away with a strengthened wisdom that I can trust my own process and story, because they know the way.

— Kayce S. Hughlett, MA | Author, SoulStroller, Artist of Being Alive

I was looking for a place to write my butt off and what I wasn’t expecting was the powerful learning that happened. The space to learn, grow and challenge myself was exactly what I needed but didn’t know I needed until I was in it. It was magical, as retreats in Mexico tend to be, and it was substantial too. The teachings, and connections are forever with me and have improved my writing and supported me in standing in my power as a writer.

— Sara Alvarado | Entrepreneur, writer, speaker and change agent

I learned things from Jen that to this day, years later, continue to unfold and bring me gifts and understanding. Specifically, conditions of enoughness and creating containers as a way to welcome freedom, which seemed so counterintuitive at the time and has been an incredibly helpful path to follow. I learned so much and I never felt excluded or out of my element in any way. Also, I met many wonderful women, one of whom has been a wonderful heart connection and a spirit sister in the most wonderful way since then.

— Lisa Godo, Mixed-media artist and sculptor

I signed up for the retreat because I had created the possibility, after years of putting off writing, that I would write more. Right after I hit the submit button, fear set in and my inner critic had a few unpleasant words for me, ‘What makes you think you can write?’ and ‘Retreats are for real writers you foolish, foolish girl.’ Luckily, I pushed past that nasty-swarmy voice and persevered! I am so happy I did! Jen helped dispel any ugliness that the critic had put in my head. I actually ended up giggling at just how mean he was! At the retreat, I was safe and I was prodded but not pushed, and most importantly, I was trained in developing writing habits that will carry on for a lifetime. I left feeling playful with my writing, alive in spirit, and present to the THIS moment of living. Jennifer is literally dancing through life and her energy is contagious and inspiring! I learned that I write to know who I am! A lesson that I will forever be grateful to have learned. Thankful that retreating with Jen gave me the confidence to shout from the rooftops, I AM A WRITER!

— Heather Strommen, mom of four and a yoga teacher

Sometimes I get so busy that I forget to know myself. For me, Jen’s retreats and intensives allow me the space to let go of everything and listen. But listening with love and compassion and honesty. And sometimes facing that honesty can be scary, but Jen is there with love and support and compassion, and so it’s all acceptable and startlingly profound.

I come away feeling braver and more connected to who I am and what I want, and this materializes magically into my writing – which suddenly becomes completely real and so much more me.

— Sonya Versluys, writer and business owner

What I remember most about our time together in Santa Barbara, and also in her Creative Joy retreats, is Jen’s uncanny ability to hold a very sacred space for both writing and self care. The stories she tells and the ‘conditions of enoughness’ that she teaches and models continue to enrich and expand me as a writer and as a retreat leader. I always come away with fresh insights and a deeper commitment to my practice.

— Sue Ann Gleason, nourishment guide and creative catalyst

Writing with Jen is one of my favorite life experiences! She is welcoming, disarming, quirky, vulnerable, charming, and real – and in so being made me feel like my truest self. And she’s genius at zeroing in on what was causing me to continually get stuck and she gave me specific steps to follow to finish my piece. Working with Jen provided me with the perfect balance of writing, exploration, guidance, technique, and much needed fun. I learned how much writing I could accomplish in 20 to 30 minute bursts, and most importantly, I learned to get comfortable writing shit. Which freed me to finally let go for long enough to find my voice. The group setting had an immediate energy and trust where writing my truest experiences bubbled up like a well-spring. I wrote things people truly responded to and that made me feel confident and validated, like I wasn’t as lost as I thought. And that was gold!

— Rachel Schultz, Founder of Manage Motherhood

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