Two Bubbles: Guest Post by THE INTERN

(Design & illustration by Robert Roxby)

I’m a longtime fan of THE INTERN’s brilliant insider publishing blog, written from the perspective of an anonymous publishing intern. Now, not only can we see what THE INTERN thinks about writing inspiration… if you scroll down to the end of this post, you’ll find the link that unmasks her true identity, too!

In INTERN’s imagination, human existence is made of up of two bubbles. There’s the cramped, worried, worldly bubble where you fret over book sales, deadlines, and when you’re allowed to take a break for toast. That bubble looks (and feels) like this:

When you spend too long in that bubble, that thing called inspiration can shrink away to almost nothing, crowded out by your own sense of self-importance and your willingness to distract yourself with things like toast breaks.

But lurking just beyond the boundaries of the first bubble is another, bigger one, where everything is dancing and nobody gives a crap about your book:

When you’re in that space, you remember how small you are in the great scheme of things, how fleeting your concerns, and how silly and magical and sinister and ecstatic the universe is when you give it half a chance.

You realize the fate of the universe doesn’t hinge on your book. Spiders will keep making webs. People will keep falling in love. Everything in nature is going to keep on doing its thing, and you’re going to keep on doing your thing too.

INTERN is inspired by the people who dwell in the second bubble—the mystics, dervishes, poets and musicians whose art beckons to us from the other side. They remind us there is something bigger than the next book deal, deadline, or toast break—and that’s the kind of inspiration you need to make great art.


If you read THE INTERN’s bio, you’ll get to find out who she is!

THE INTERN is a former publishing industry intern and the author of Midnight at the Radio Temple, forthcoming from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books in 2013.

Read THE INTERN’s blog at

Follow @internspills on Twitter. 

Want more in this blog series?

3 responses to “Two Bubbles: Guest Post by THE INTERN”

  1. Love the post, love the illustrations, haha. I agree that it’s part of a writer’s job to burst through the first bubble and get to the second. For some people, that’s a daily struggle, or hourly, or even minute-ly. For others, it’s much easier (grr). Thanks for the reminder that I need to spend more time outside my immediate bubble!


  2. Totally great post. Just what I needed…a kick out of my cramped bubble out to the open air. Already tried coffee, going for run, chocolate, twattering around on twitter…

    Thanks Nova for a great series on inspiration.


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