BOSTON (CBS) – It’s one of the more recognized lines from the Robin Williams movie “Dead Poets Society.”
“How can you describe poetry like American Bandstand? “I like Byron, I give him a 42 but I can’t dance to it!” Now, I want you to rip out that page.”
Like John Keating, played by Robin Williams in the cult classic, Leslie Epstein is a teacher.
Read More: “The Book Inside You” Series
He is also the director of the Creative Writing Program at Boston University. He acknowledges not every successful writer spends time in writing class.
“Shakespeare didn’t and Dostoyevsky didn’t and so forth. But I am a little impatient with that because it is a craft as well as an art,” Epstein told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
Boston-based, award-winning, best-selling author William Martin gets it.
“Creativity quite often emerges from a bed of hard work and a willingness to stay at the desk,” he told WBZ.
A one-time screenwriter, Martin has written ten novels. His first was “Back Bay.” His eleventh is in the pipeline.
“A lot of people will tell you you should write what you know. And I always say, ‘Well, no, write where you want to go and what you want to know and who you want to meet when you get there,” Martin said.
Brunonia Barry, a New York Times best-selling author who initially tried screenwriting, turned to novels when she moved from New York City back to Massachusetts.
“The first novel was ‘The Lace Reader.’ It took me seven years to write,” she said.
Barry lives in Salem and draws her stories from personal experiences.
“My second book was written at The House of Seven Gables, where I was fired as a tour guide when I was younger,” she laughs, “for making up stories.”
Barry attends a number of book clubs and loves the feedback.
“You know people say ‘What was the theme of your book?’ and authors will turn to readers and say, ‘I don’t know, you tell me.'”
What does she tell aspiring writers?
“Read everything you can and the other is stay in the chair.”
In part three of “The Book Inside You,” we’ll hear from two budding novelists.
Listen to Part Two Of “The Book Inside You”