A friend forwarded an article from Matthew Weiner (the creator of the TV series Mad Men) on writing. He makes the point that writers often pretend there’s little work involved in creating their final piece, but that the process is slow, full of visions and revisions, false starts, painful changes.
Anyone who has ever sat down to write is faced with the gap between what they feel is good writing and what is happening on the page at that moment. I occasionally look back at old drafts of my best poems, sometimes 12 or 19 of them, which I shove in a folder called “Prev.” I am almost always shocked by how truly awful they are. One’s taste evolves, and one’s work rarely can keep pace.