I've been writing seriously for a few years now and I never thought I'd ever be able to measure the quality of my own work. It's kind of like seeing the gradual changes in your own physical features. You look into the mirror pretty much every day (some longer than others). You might be able to spot a wrinkle that wasn't there weeks ago, but you can't objectively point out every little change as it happens.
Then you wake up one day and it's like you're seeing all these things you couldn't before. Or you wake up one day and realize all the ways you can improve your features. Kind of like you're your own plastic surgeon.
That's what writers are. Plastic surgeons. And unlike real plastic surgeons, you just use backspace if you mess up someone's nose.
More than ever, I'm better able to gauge where I stand as a writer. What my strong points are, but also my weaknesses. What I have that other people might not, and what I wish I could learn to utilize in my work.
And right now sitting here, it's hard to think that five years from now, I might be on a completely different tier in terms of my ability to self-assess. Maybe I'll see things I'm completely blinded to at the moment. Maybe I'll learn something that makes my work really shine, or maybe I'll notice a flaw that runs through all of my stories and holds them back from their fullest potential.
That's the reason I love being a writer. You're always evolving, but more than that, the evolution is fun. It's like that light bulb above your head and you get all excited because the process suddenly feels new and different. And even when things get tough and you begin to doubt yourself, you always know that the capacity for personal growth is huge and you have so much to strive toward and to achieve.