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Writer's Block

December 19, 1937 must have been a happy day for Tolkien. On that day he sent a letter to his publisher to say, 

"I have written the first chapter of a news story about Hobbits--'A long expected party'."

Two months later he reports,

"The Hobbit sequel is where it was, and I have only the vaguest notions of how to proceed...I found it only too easy to write opening chapters - and for the moment the story is not unfolding."

By July of 1838 Tolkien seems to have despaired of further progress:

"The sequel to The Hobbit has remained where it stopped. It has lost my favour, and I have no idea what to do with it...I am really very sorry: for my own sake as well as for yours I would like to produce something...I hope inspiration and the mood will return. It is not for lack of wooing that it holds aloof. But my wooing of late had been perforce intermittent. The Muses do not like such half-heartedness."

"Half-heartedness" describes well my own personal writing habits, as well as "intermittent". This blog is an attempt to "woo the Muse", but inspiration and mood strike me but once or twice a week at best. And even then it is in the form of short, quick notes like that which I'm writing this moment. 
Blocked.

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"I found not being able to use a pen or a pencil as defeating as the loss of her beak would be to a hen."

For several weeks, near the end of his life, Tolkien was unable to use his right arm. He had been used to spending hours each day writing...writing poetry, stories and novels...writing letters for business...corresponding with family and friends. 
I often imagine myself writing as diligently, as "old fashioned", as Tolkien. I can see myself sitting at a rolltop desk or finely crafted secretary, smoking a pipe, serenely composing a handwritten letter to my children, or drafting another chapter for my next novel. I can imagine Tolkien feeling joy as he writes. 
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