5 December

Next Week, A Retreat

by Jon Katz

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Rosemary Ahern, my editor, sent me an e-mail the other day reminding me that I was close to finishing my next book, “Gus And Bud: The Lessons Of A Year On Bedlam Farm” for Simon and Schuster.

The book is due over the next few weeks, she reminded me, I have only three chapters left – a chapter on the Army Of Good – and two chapters on the arrival of Bud and his acclimation to life here.

“Wouldn’t you love to finish it by 2019?,” she asked sweetly, showing some teeth.

Yes, I said, I would.

Since the blog has evolved so dramatically, and so intently, it has become more difficult for me to find the time to finish this book, which is important to me. It may well be my last as a book author.

I want it to be a good book.

I write a lot on the blog and I love it, but it also takes a good deal of work, focus and energy – as you know, I write a lot.

So I decided to take a three  day retreat, beginning next Wednesday, December 12, after my radio show “Talking To Animals.” I’m going to take the following Thursday, Friday and  Saturday (Sunday if needed) to finish my book and turn it in.

It’s weighing on me, I still love my books, although I recognize that in the new publishing market, there may not be a place for a writer like me.

I don’t believe in  complaining or whining about my life, I have been nothing but lucky to have gotten to write 26 books.

I have plenty of good work to do, starting my blog in 2007 was one of the smartest things  I’ve ever done.

I want to devote some of this time to meditation, being alone, having space to think and refresh myself. When you write as often as I do, it’s good to take some time off to let your head cool off, and to just think.

To be lost. I think we have to first come to know our “lostness” if we want to find meaning, purpose, and direction in our lives. I want to share what I find – a way out of the darkness, I think.

The path for me begins with meditation, sometimes prayer, and solitude.  This means breaking through the veil of consciousness and allowing myself to be led by the visions that have become real to me. This is what they mean by spiritual discernment, but I’m looking for discernment in life, my purpose, my heart, my light.

I hope to open my heart,  reaffirm who I really am. I will be writing as usual until then. I think it will be healthy for us to take a brief break from one another.


Thanks. Business as usual until my retreat next week.


  1. I have just read two of your books, Saving Simon and Dog Days I enjoyed them very much and have told my daughter who also reads a lot. I am looking forward to finding more of your books at my library. I am also going to try and draw Simon the donkey and one of the dogs from Dog Days, I use soft and hard pastels, If they come out well I will let you know. I hope you can keep writing for as long s you are able. My best wishes to you and Maria.

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