Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Would-be writers generally fall into one of two categories. Some will tell you proudly that they have never taken a single class. Others continue attending workshops and courses long after they have any real need of them. There comes a point in every aspiring author’s life where he or she either must begin writing or abandon the dream.
I’m not saying that taking a few classes on the art of writing is a bad idea; in fact, I would recommend that everyone who seeks to be a writer take, at the very least, a grammar and rhetoric class and a creative writing class. Both of these courses put tools in the writer’s toolbox. Not learning the basic building blocks of good writing shows a lack of respect for the potential audience. This is one of the reasons I will not recommend a badly written novel, no matter how ingenious the plot is. For me, a weak plot is less egregious than talentless prose.
However, I’ve seen too many talented writers paralyzed by the opinions of a few readers. To be a writer is to cut off a finger and offer it to someone who might have preferred a toe. Not everyone will think you are brilliant; therefore, you must accept that when you send your work out into the world, some will try to send it back. There aren’t enough classes in the world to make every reader love your work – accept this and you are on your way to success.
At last, you must believe in yourself. If you are a good writer, you will find success.