Ten Tolkien Quotes for your Writing Wednesday


“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Writing is a dangerous business. You step out your door onto a strange road and before you know it you’re swept off on an adventure.

“A man that flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a short cut to meet it.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Hurin

 Are you a perfectionist? I know I am. Do you worry so much about your writing being perfect that you put it off? If we’re not careful we may find that we’ve only taken a shortcut to the failure that we’re afraid of. Work hard! Be bold!

“Out of doubt, out of dark to the day’s rising
I came singing into the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope’s end I rode and to heart’s breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall! ”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

 This is my editing battle cry.

Bilbo rushed along the passage, very angry, and altogether bewildered and bewuthered–this was the most awkward Wednesday he ever remembered.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

 Because, Wednesday. 😉

“Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something. That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

We’ll have lots of chances to turn back, lots of chances to wonder what in the world we’re doing but some things are worth holding onto. Don’t give up!


“For if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomable at the foundations of the Earth.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion

 Have you experienced great sorrows or joys? Use those experiences to add depth to your writing. Chances are you’ll touch the heart of a reader experiencing a similar situation.

“Do not trouble your hearts overmuch with thought of the road tonight. Maybe the paths that you shall each tread are already laid before your feet, though you do not see them.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

 If God has called you to write, He’s set the path before your feet. Don’t worry if you can’t see the destination yet.

 If you sit on the door-step long enough, I daresay you will think of something.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

This is me trying to think of something to blog about. 🙂

“Frodo: Go back, Sam! I’m going to Mordor alone.
Sam: Of course you are, and I’m coming with you!”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

 1.) Writing can be a really solitary journey. If you have a chance to go to a conference or connect with other writers, go!

2.) Some of the most important people in your life are the ones right in front of you.

3.) Don’t forget to be the Sam in someone else’s life too.

“What d’you want to go and find a dragon for, at this time of year, and me with my hands full?”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

You’re always going to be busy. There’s always going to be something going on in your life. Don’t let that stop you from going out after the dragon. You may regret it if you don’t.



About Britta Valentine

saved by grace, writer of young adult fiction, and drinker of copious amounts of coffee

8 comments on “Ten Tolkien Quotes for your Writing Wednesday

  1. Fantastic quotes and great insight. My favorite here is the one about not being troubled over the road. That’s pretty much where I’m at right now.

    • Thanks, Josh! I had a lot of fun putting it together. I think I may print out a few of these and stick them above my desk as a reminder.

  2. The Tolkien quote I live by, in reverse, is the words of Sauron to the last doomed king of Numenor in AKALLABETH: “But great kings do not brook denials, and take what is their due…for the Valar have deceived you concerning him, putting forward the name of Eru, a phantom devised in the folly of their hearts…But he that is their master shall yet prevail, and he will deliver you from this phantom. And his name is Melkor, Lord of All, Giver of Freedom…” In reverse, I said. What this means for me as a writer who is a Christian is simple: great writers do not take what is their due, but submit themselves to the will of God, even when Eru says “No” or “Wait.” It also means that I must submit both myself and my writing to what Eru has said, for He is no phantom. Only in Him is there freedom. I can choose to be like Numenor, and reject both the Word and the will of Eru. I can follow Sauron, and take what he lies to me. I can also share in Numenor’s destruction. Or I can trust Eru, be one of the Faithful like Elendil and his sons, and know Eru’s grace, favor and love. This is what my brother JRR Tolkien teaches me in the most spiritually powerful thing he ever penned.

    • That’s one thing I really love about Tolkien. His books were full of wisdom but they were still stories. They sucked you into an epic adventure and you never felt like you were being taught something.

  3. […] “Ten Tolkien Quotes for Your Writing Wednesday” by Brittany Valentine (The New Authors Fellowship) […]

  4. Love these quotes, and the artwork featured with them!

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