Beginning writers get a lot of advice from every direction. Here are 3 aphorisms to memorize. Let them guide you in your career.
1. A "real" author pursuing print publication does NOT pay to get published or to get literary agent representation. The publisher pays the author with an advance against royalties, and a royalty contract. The agent gets paid by collecting a commission on selling your work.
2. A "real" author does not ask for an opinion of his/her work from anyone with whom the author has a familial or love relationship.
Why? Because you will rarely get an objective answer. The answer will be colored either by the person's love for you or the person's wish to get some payback. Ask a professional who knows what constitutes good writing.
3. The bridge between talent and success is work discipline.
Start establishing a work discipline now that enables you to produce a daily quota of writing--1 page or 10+. Work discipline creates the habit of writing.
Writing is art, craft, and business. Adopt some standards, parameters, or habits that will aid you in building a successful career.