How much you read actually matters. I've said this a million times but constant and obsessive reading leads to unlocking doors of perception and style. What would make you think you could be a world class athlete and assume you could run out onto a field and destroy when you've barely made it past the local playground? If someone wants to consider writing seriously they need to know a few things:
If you're planning on being a journalist, you've gotta be opinionated. Seriously. How can you explain to someone without passion when something is going on that is viably corrupt or when a movie or a record totally sucks and the curious public should be given a point by point break down of why said media was awful OR wonderful. Opinion matters. Anyone who's a grey, middle of the road person possibly reading this and considering becoming a reporter, go work in a lab or something. Lawyers always need a good lackey.
Sorry, had to get that one off my chest, but anyhow, BACK to my original thought:
Seriously, people who want to write a story from the little curious puppy or how to talk to the dead all have to read a lot of books. Reading with voracious appetite is the greatest writing school in the world. It teaches you how to properly form sentences and create thoughts that actually make sense instead of only making sense to you.
Oh, real quick: people who assume they're the greatest living writer of all time and who complain about not being discovered, get real. If you want it, you've gotta work yourself mental to get anywhere today. Chances of an openminded agent or publishing exec walking into your coffee shop in the middle of Montana, are pretty rare. You might be good but talent isn't what makes a writer successful, it's their ability to take a no and turn it back into a crushing blow to everyone who rejected you when you're fumbling through your wad of cash.
In the end, to summerize: read A LOT and all kinds of books. Non fiction and fiction. Don't think you're too cool for school and have opinions on stuff.