In 1939, Tolkien gave a talk at Oxford on 'Fairy-Stories', later published in Essays presented to Charles Williams. In this he quoted a poem he had written for Lewis (cf. Carpenter, Inklings, 63):
Man, Sub-creator, the refracted Light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build
Gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sowed the seed of dragons -- 'twas our right
(used or misused), that right has not decayed:
we make still by the law in which we're made.
Thus Tolkien saw our (inklings) creativity as something like craft: a pleasant matter of professional obligation as a human being.