My son Sean has friends who think they might want to become writers. He tells them that if they want, he can arrange for me to go over one of their stories with them. "It feels like being put in a barrel of gravel and rolled downhill," he says, "but you'll be a better writer afterward."
So far, nobody has taken him up on the offer.
That's only natural, of course. New writers are as greedy for praise as a child for candy. But, like candy, praise contributes very little to their growth. They need criticism and correction -- not to build character or anything like that, but because criticism and correction contain information that will make their fiction better. On those rare occasions when I teach at Clarion or Clarion West or Clarion South, I always tell my students that their job while there is not write good stories but to make interesting mistakes and as many of them as they possibly can, in order to elicit information from me that they will find useful. With the possible exception of the first week, when they're being eased into the experience, workshoppers should get as little public praise (the private conferences are a different matter) as possible, because it wastes their time and makes the other students envious.
Still, I think Sean has come up with a good way of gauging whether there's any hope for your becoming a writer: If you could improve your writing by being placed in a barrel of gravel and rolled downhill, would you do it? If not, then you're probably not going to make it.