Literary giants C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and Hugo Dyson famously gathered at an Oxford pub called The Eagle and Child (which you can still visit today). The group, known affectionately as The Inklings served as both inspiration and support for one another. They read published works, shared manuscripts, and discussed life and social issues.
Perhaps surprising to learn, even after each had written wildly successful pieces, they each battled their own insecurities, self-doubt, creative drought, and personal issues.
Have you ever suffered from the internal battle? Have you ever doubted yourself and your abilities? Have you ever wondered why you’re doing what you’re doing? Have you ever thought about getting “a real job”?
Who do you turn to? Who is your circle?
When Tolkien questioned his own creative abilities, he turned to this group of authors and friends. The group encouraged him and pushed him to continue writing the work that was within him.
The group of like-minded men were there to support one another; to encourage, challenge (in love), and strengthen each other. This is only possible through time and trust.
If you do not have a circle of like-minded people to help you, I encourage you to actively seek out someone who can help you when times are tough (and help you stay grounded when times are going well!) Build a habit of openness, support, and transparency. You’ll need it.
Oh, by the way, the piece Tolkien was struggling with?
Well, you may have heard of it.
With the support and encouragement of his fellow Inklings, he published The Lord of the Rings.