The New York Times just published a sobering article, "Does It Pay to Be a Writer"? Answer: not unless you have another gig or happen to make bank on royalties.
A few months ago when the annual Writer's Digest short story contest came around, I decided to take a break from novel writing, revive an old short story, and submit it for the competition. It didn't place, and looking back, I can see why.
The story was dull.