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J.R.R. Tolkien Describes His Creativity as a Gift from God

J.R.R. Tolkien, the British author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a devout Christian who wanted his books to awaken people to the biblical struggle between good and evil. Tolkien also humbly believed that all his creativity was a "supreme gift" which came straight from God. While he was working as a university professor, Tolkien had the following experience, which he claimed was the beginning of The Hobbit and then eventually The Lord of the Rings:

I was doing the dull work of correcting exam papers when I came upon a blank page someone had turned in—a boon to all exam makers. I turned it over and wrote on the back, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" [that sentence would become the first line for The Hobbit]. I'd never even heard of a hobbit or used the word before."

Later on he would also say, "I have long ceased to invent [my stories]. I wait till I seem to know what really happened. Or till it writes itself." And in a personal letter he described his writing process: "The Other Power [God] then took over: the Writer of the Story (by which I do not mean myself), 'that one ever-present Person who is never absent …'"

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