Tolkien on work and non-hobbies

I absolutely love this quote from Tolkien. (I stole it from the Oxford Inklings blog, but it’s worth throwing in the scrapbook.)

When asked by a journalist what made him “tick” he answered:

“I don’t tick.  I am not a machine.  (If I did tick, I should have no views on it, and you had better ask the winder.)  My work did not ‘evolve’ into a serious work.  It started like that.  The so-called ‘children’s story’ [The Hobbit] was a fragment, torn out of an already existing mythology.  In so far as it was dressed up as ‘for children’, in style or manner, I regret it.  So do the children.  I am a philologist, and all my work is philological.  I avoid hobbies because I am a very serious person and cannot distinguish between private amusement and duty.  I am affable, but unsociable.  I only work for private amusement, since I find my duties privately amusing.” ‘