My critique partner shared this story with me: This is a baseball story and a very inspiring one. Also, for photography fans, it’s a gorgeously photographed chronicle. From birth to the major leagues, Dad (Tom Duffy) photographed his son (San Francisco Giants, Matt Duffy) playing baseball. He said:

To see a big league stadium with 40,000 fans there supporting him was both surreal and incredible. You see, while he was growing up through the game of baseball, Matt and I never once discussed making it to the big leagues. We continually kept our eyes on a much smaller prize: getting to the next level.

Emphasis mine. I love the thought of not focusing on the big time but just on what’s next for you. It made me ask myself what is the next level for me? That is an exciting thing to focus on compared to trying to imagine a big dream that just feels overwhelming. I have a little announcement to make. I just now received the contract from The Wild Rose Press for Third Strike’s the Charm. Talk about the next level; this book really is that for me.

I went out to take pictures early the other day and had a lot of fun but was disappointed when I looked at the results. They weren’t interesting. My husband helped me analyze why, look at other photos that are interesting, and create a plan for going back and shooting the same place again. I’m happier with the results.

In addition to writing, I’m focusing on learning and getting to the next level of amateur photography, and that’s what’s exciting. With photography I really don’t have goals, other than to take interesting and exciting  photos for my blog. With writing I do have dreams, of course I do, and when I make sure that dream is writing increasingly good books, the journey is a joy.

City Hall
City Hall, Campbell California
Clock at City Hall
Clock at City Hall
Campbell water tower
Campbell water tower

Do you focus on outcomes or the journey and which inspires you the most?

15 thoughts on “Writing life, the next level

      1. Nia, I agree with you – it’s very important to pause and celebrate the accomplishment! So many hours of hard work, discipline, and engagement! I am so happy for you! And YES, I do believe in you! Many many cheers from San Diego! PS: In my native language: Maravilha!!! (marvelous!!!)

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ohh, I am so happy to hear such fantastic news! Heartfelt congratulations, you definitely deserved it and you did it!
    It’s hard to tell on which I can focus, usually I am flying in the sky…literary speaking…I have sometimes too many goals which are extremely hard to achieve…however, I do enjoy the journey…when I go for photohunting I am completely involved and forget that there is another reality…when I work on films – the same…and there are different stories in my head that don’t leave me in peace…Recently I realized that nature inspires me the most! Take care, Nicci, and once again my warmest and sunniest congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Now I’m just confused. 😉 Seriously, that’s radical. But you’re right. The rush of getting the contract isn’t any different from all the rushes I had when the book started working as I wrote it. And it will be the same kind of emotion as I continue with the many forms of work and frustration that lie ahead. I like your point of view, Robert, it incorporates failures, work, success. There’s a healthy continuity to your approach instead of a roller coaster.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The professional photographer in my Toastmasters Photo
    Club did a speech on finding the picture within the picture. When you’re not happy with a picture, look more closely. What else is in that shot? I’ve saved a few shots by doing this. Love the water tower shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anne. I do try to do that, and I’m trying to think more when I’m out shooting or even just out. Looking for interesting things around me. I think it is a good thing that photography gets us to really look at our world. My eyes are more open now, for sure. I’m glad you like the water tower! 🙂


    2. PS I started using the screen saver on my computer with all my photos and am seeing photos to go back to and mine for more interest through cropping and development, now that I have Lightroom.


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