Write Now with Mark Rubinstein

Today’s Write Now interview features Mark Rubinstein, author of 16 books including ASSASSIN’S LULLABY and THE STORYTELLERS.

Write Now with Mark Rubinstein
Photo courtesy of Mark Rubinstein

In today’s Write Now interview, Mark Rubinstein explains that writing on a treadmill during inclement weather sparks his creativity. We experience daily thunderstorms here in Orlando, and I typically find them soothing. Now I’m going to consider how they may also bring creativity. Enjoy Mark’s interview.

Who Are You?

Mark Rubinstein, novelist, physician, psychiatrist. I’m based in Connecticut, although I originally lived in New York City.

What Do You Write?

I write suspense-thriller novels about people caught up in circumstances that are life-altering and life-threatening. I got started writing when, as a psychiatrist, I had to write up cases, many of which were far stranger than fiction could ever hope to be. I now write on a full-time basis and love the process of creating characters, finding appropriate words to describe many kinds of situations, and working my way out of cul de sacs in which I sometimes find myself. There’s something invigorating about the creative process.

Where Do You Write?

I write at home, in my den, using a computer. I revise and rewrite using “Cut” and “Paste” quite liberally.

When Do You Write?

I find that I’m most creative, and ideas come rather seamlessly during the early morning hours. I love sitting with a cup of coffee (or two or three) between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. After that, I go about my daily chores and may return to the computer for an hour or so sometime in mid- or late afternoon. I don’t set a time limit on a writing session but find that after three or four hours of steady concentration, I begin to lag. It pays to know your tolerance. I try never to count words; sometimes, a good day will be writing as many as 3,000 words, or when it’s a matter of revision, I can count on going through twenty or thirty double-spaced pages.

Why Do You Write?

I write because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I wasn’t writing. Sometimes, I think it’s an addiction. Walking or using a treadmill during inclement weather seems to spark some of my creative juices. Or, playing with one of my dogs will suffice. Sometimes, an idea seems to pop into my head from no place I can identify. I think many writers feel that way, and I sometimes think that writing is an act of desperation—meaning that it may be a way of trying to understand the world.

How Do You Overcome Writer’s Block?

I’ve never experienced writer’s block but rather may, at times, find myself reluctant to sit down at the computer and write. I know that when I begin a new book, it always seems like it’s the first time I’m doing it because writing never gets easier. It’s unlike almost any other activity with which I’ve been involved. The beginning of each new novel is viciously difficult. But once I begin, it somehow seems to take off on its own.

Bonus: What Do You Enjoy Doing When Not Writing?

When I’m not writing, I read, go for long walks (usually with my dog), go for a drive, and especially enjoy sharing dinner with good friends and family.

My thanks to Mark Rubinstein for today’s interview.

A version of this article also appeared on Medium.