My SF writing class has resumed in Rochester at Writers & Books, and they look like an interesting bunch. I'm looking forward to the class. I hope, however, that no one asks me The Question.
The last time I got The Question was when I taught Clarion West last year. I got it twice. No writer likes to be asked The Question, which is always heart-felt and intense: "Do you think I have what it takes to succeed as an SF writer?"
The only honest answer to this, which satisfies nobody, is "Damned if I know." In 30 years of teaching, which includes ten Clarion classes, I have had students that I thought had a lot of talent, but who didn't succeed as SF writers because they became more interested in writing mysteries, or computer books, or in computers, or racing cars, or any number of other things. I've had students I thought had only average talent who have gone on to be successes due to hard work and the persistence of a bulldog with a burglar in its teeth. I've had students who turned in God-awful stories but they were very early stories and the writers had a very steep learning curve; within a year they were publishing. I've had students with much raw talent but a total resistance to changing anything ever from their first drafts, who therefore never improved the technical aspects of their craft and never sold.
If you ask me The Question, and I've seen only one or two samples of your work, there's no way I can assess your persistence, ability and/or willingness to learn, stores of imagination you haven't yet transferred to the page, and toughness to absorb the often massive doses of rejection that accompany the start of most writing careers. That's my answer right there, and it satisfies nobody.
So don't ask. The answer lies inside you, not me.