I'm at a writers' workshop, a term I use loosely, when one of the people coordinating the affair taps a short story I have written and proclaims: "Yes, I've read this. It's good. Really good. I wouldn't take any less than two hundred for it."
"Really?" I ask.
"Not a penny less. Not a farthing."
"So..then, are you going to be writing me out a check?"
"Well..no, I'm just saying. If I was going to sell that sucker, it wouldn't be for less than two hundred."
Another writer at another conference, some time ago, leaned over, looking at me and whispering: "There's no secrets to being published, you know. It's all just hard work."
I looked at him as sternly as he was looking at me and whispered in return: "Okay."
He tapped a finger to the side of the nose and winked before skipping off.
Someone else told me that writers are by nature not a supportive lot. There are only so many paying markets out there and so many of us scrambling to find a niche. Don't get me started about the corporations. So, this someone said, don't expect much help from other writers. Sure, they'll tell you how to get published, but they won't share too deeply with you.
My own belief is that I am willing to read people's work and try and give them honest feedback. I've read some work from people who visit this blog. Sometimes I've been kind, others--not so much. I think the most important thing though is the sense that there are other people out there trying to do the same thing you do: make some cash off the written word. Maybe even a little fame.
All this being said, I thank all who have given me good advice and even those who have offered questionable advice. Now, that being said, I have to go off and write a paper for school.