Scott LaCounte is the author of several books, including the memoir Quiet, Please.
What is your method for overcoming writer’s block?
Go somewhere without distractions. For me that means somewhere without wi-fi and bad cell phone reception.
What are your favorite or most helpful writing prompts?
Prompts that force students to use dialogue. That's really the thing that most newer writers seem struggle with. It's odd—talking is so natural to us but when we put it on page it can come out forced and awkward.
What is the most valuable advice you received as a young writer?
When I was in junior high or high school I went to the John Steinbeck museum in Salinas, and saw one of his quotes on critics: "Unless the bastards have the courage to give you unqualified praise, I'd say ignore them." That quote has stayed with me for along time and is more valuable to me as an adult than ever before—there's always going to be people who try and tear down what you have created, and if you don't learn to ignore them, then they will destroy you.