An otherwise ordinary faculty meeting at Oxford in 1926 sparked a friendship that served as the foundation for some of the greatest works of fiction. Had John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and Clive Staples Lewis not met, we would never have had the chance to walk through a wardrobe or meet a hobbit, but thankfully we do.
Tolkien and Lewis quickly became friends after their initial meeting, both sharing a passion for Norse mythology and storytelling. Tolkien remarked of Lewis, “Only from him did I ever get the idea that my stuff could be more than a private hobby. But for his interest and unceasing eagerness for more I should never have brought The Lord of the Rings to a conclusion.”
It wasn’t long before Tolkien and Lewis were meeting each week on Thursdays, discussing and critiquing their current writing and engaging in general conversation. Over time, their meetings proved to be so useful and enjoyable that they began inviting colleagues and friends over to share in their fun. They called themselves the Inklings.
The Inklings were a collection of people who were lovers of creative fiction, literary critics, and mostly writers. The group, said to be neither a club or a literary society by Lewis, met Thursday evenings in Lewis’s suite of rooms at Oxford, and at times on Tuesdays at noon at the local pub, The Bird. Tolkien and Lewis served as the nucleus of the group and are the most recognizable, but the works that came out of the members is considerable.
Passion is not a solitary adventure, it’s meant to be a journey that is experienced with people, connecting like minds together. This is a natural path. The world has always organized itself into tribes and movements. The movements, ideas, and brands that are gaining momentum faster than ever are ones that are built on a tribe. Without the Inklings, Tolkien and Lewis wouldn’t have created their masterpieces.
Selling a chance to join a group that matters is a lot more valuable than selling something with no movement or passion behind it.