Tolkien Encourages Me By His Worries

“They say it is the first step that costs the effort. I do not find it so. I am sure I could write unlimited ‘first chapters’. I have indeed written many. The Hobbit sequel is still where it was, and I have only the vaguest notions of how to proceed. Not ever intending any sequel, I fear I squandered all my favourite ‘motifs’ and characters on the original ‘Hobbit.'”

J.R.R. Tolkien, in a letter to C.A. Furth, Allen


  1. It’ll be interesting talking to Tolkien and Lewis some day. And might we get some new Tolkien and Lewis fiction on the New Earth? I don’t imagine that God given creativity would all of a sudden be unnecessary in our glorified state on a glorified Earth.

  2. I completely agree. 🙂 Cheers me up frequently. He probably had no clue how encouraging his own writing journey would be to aspiring writers. I also like to look at his manuscripts that are so different from the ultimate story (What? Tolkien didn’t get it right the first time? You mean he had to rewrite, too?)

  3. This is encouraging to me as well since I just finished editing the first part of my second book … and now I’m at that “what do I write next?” phase.

    It’s also interesting that Tolkien used his “favourite ‘motif’s and characters” in the Hobbit. I wonder if he still felt that way after finishing the LOTRs?

  4. Cool thought, JJ.

    Rael! —> Rewrite is my middle name right now. 🙁 🙂

    Rob, that’s the part that struck me. I love that he thought he’s used all his good stuff on the Hobbit. Man, that is so encouraging.

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