Tolkien. Seriously – the man wrote mountains of works across his lifetime. And I’ve read nearly all of it, starting with The Hobbit when I was 6 or 7 years old, up until more recently picking up background information such as the “Letters” or other side works. Suffice to say, the huge breadth to all that he wrote is downright inspiring; truly impressive.
So whenever I’m low on inspiration, or just feeling like I have nothing to write…I pick up some Tolkien. Doesn’t matter which of his works it is, just any one. And then I’ll read a section, a chapter, or even the whole work; depends on time given at any given point. I’ve always been utterly impressed at his devotion to his work, how deeply he worked, and how many edits and corrections he made to try and keep the internal mythology, world, cultures and rules all working, even as he continuously updated everything he was working on. It’s a good little bit of inspiration for me.
Today I’m reading The History of the Hobbit: Mr Baggins and Return to Bag-End (here’s the Amazon link). Given my deep love of history and literature, I’ve been soaking in all the information here. It’s great to really get into the changes, updates and history behind one of my favorite books. It’s great seeing the change in practice, it’s like a little peek into the mind of a genius. Okay, so that’s a bit extreme; but I seriously do adore Tolkien as one of my favorite authors…so a bit of hyperbole is, I think, in order.
It’s strange though, trying to get through the sections of original manuscript–because Gandalf is Bladorthin, and Thorin Oakenshield was originally Gandalf; and Smaug was Pryftan. It’s so weird because in some places the manuscript is near-identical to the published book. So think about reading about “Gandalf” being the dwarf-leader, and trying to sort that with the fact that each time you read the name, you’re thinking it’s Gandalf “the Grey”, the wizard. It’s jarring–but it makes for great inspiration and reading.
That means today is not really a day for a lot of heavy lifting, so to say. I’m recharging the inspiration batteries and writing up some ideas for blogging; as well as my own fiction writing I do to release stress. I’m planning up a few posts to put here in the next week or so, once I’ve gotten some more inspiration under my belt. It’s good for me to just take a day for fun and relaxation, and just enjoying collecting my thoughts and inspirations into one nice, handy space to keep accessible. I’ll have some more topical posts shortly, once I’ve had some time to plot out everything I’m working on. – I might even have a few more article reviews coming up in the next 2 weeks, once I’ve finished my personal notes on them.∗