I hear a lot about honing one's craft by writing and editing. I also hear about learning the basics, making sure one is competent with the elements of writing, etc. I have never taken a formal writing class. I've been told (by a paid critic), that my dialogue is good and I understand how to use it. I've been published in an online blog, and I'm gathering a nice collection of rejection letters to add to my writing credentials.
So does being an avid bookworm serve as adequate training for the craft of writing? Does writing lots and lots of research papers for grad school count? How important is formal training? What are the "elements" of writing? I'd love to hear from you all about your opinion about this sort of thing? Can natural talent and being well-read serve as well as an MFA?