Don’t know if you’ve seen this comic? I always thought it was pretty hilarious: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/exposure
Good points. As a writer, I get asked this all the time, as many writers experience. Now, I’m a huge proponent of informational interviews and asking people to “pick their brain” and actually, I haven’t really received a lot of negative feedback. I’m grateful for people that are willing to help a struggling rookie.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this: what should someone like me do instead? What if there’s an awesome, knowledgeable, informed person I want to speak with — is there any capacity where I can (in good conscience) ask them out to “pick their brain” without paying money? I always offer to buy coffee/lunch/whatever, and meet them wherever is easiest for them. But what are some appropriate ways of having this conversation?