(This is the second in our series, “What Inspires You?” in which Inspira team members share where they find their inspiration and motivation for writing. Part One was by Assistant Editor Heather Sipes. This week’s post is by Arlyn Lawrence, Inspira’s founder and president. )
For me, motivation to write often comes to me out of an urge to help people. I’m not really the kind of writer who writes just for writing’s sake; I need to have an objective. So, when I have an idea or message I think will equip, encourage, empower, or even inspire someone, I am motivated!
But even though I am legitimately a people person, “alone” is where I do my best thinking, praying, reflecting, producing, and reprogramming. To get myself in the flow, I like to be alone and undistracted by people talking, or by any kind of words at all. (So I can’t write very well in coffee shops, unfortunately!) Generally speaking, an inspirational writing environment for me includes:
- beauty (if I can be near the water or the mountains, that’s a big plus!)
- music (no words when I’m writing, so I usually choose classical or piano solo)
I think one of the most helpful things I’ve learned as a writer is that inspiration doesn’t just happen. You have to set up for it, sort of “invite it in.” So besides the inspirational ingredients I just mentioned, I also try to set up with:
- an orderly environment
- a regular time and place
- having a defined purpose for the time
- a clear mental picture of the “whom” I’m writing to/for
We have access to a timeshare condo at Mt. Hood, Oregon, a three-hour drive from our home. When I really need inspiration and solitude for a writing project or multiple projects, it’s a great go-to place for a personal retreat. There, along with time to write, I can enjoy walks in the woods, or a trip to the snow in season. Then there’s the river—right outside my doorstep.
And sometimes I’ll drive a half-hour to the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood where I can park myself in a quiet spot to work and look out at the view:
In these settings, I can be incredibly productive and it always amazes me how much I can get done in a shorter amount of time. I am refreshed and re-invigorated by my little “working personal retreats.” I find I actually like spending time with . . . me! When I am home again and back to reality, I feel more on top of things, much refreshed, and definitely more inspired by my “time out.”