I spent a wonderful evening a few days ago with a group of high school students. They were all members of a high school chapter of the National English Honor Society. They invited me to speak about my writing process and the path I took to publication. I doubt any speaker ever had a more polite and attentive audience.
Every gaze was on me the entire time as if every word I said had meaning and each phrase I spoke was inspirational. It was a real feel-good time. They smiled and nodded in agreement when I referenced certain novels. They laughed when I gave examples of working with different editors and my frustrations with one of them.
They raised their eyebrows in disbelief when I explained how long it might be from submission to actual acceptance and publication of a manuscript. They shook their heads in amazement when I explained reserves against returns and the tiny amounts of money most writers manage to earn on their hours, days and years of work.