I wrote a book. It took me about three years from first idea to finished first draft. Now I'm pretty much chucking it out and starting again.
Why? Well, I gave it to a couple of people whose opinions I trust immensely and they gave me some excellent feedback about some serious flaws in my story structure. When I listened to what they were saying I could see it as plain as day. But, the funny thing was that, despite all the work that I put into that draft, the idea of completely guttting it and starting again didn't honestly bother me that much. I was excited by the new ideas that had been suggested, eager to take my characters and start writing a better story for them, and energized by the idea of the work ahead. Crazy, right?
Anyway, I've gone back to the outline stage with the same characters but a very different story structure for them. It's going to be a better book, I know that. I don't regret those three years that I spent on the original draft. I learned a lot about how to write a book and I got to know my characters really well. They say that writing is really rewriting and boy, they weren't kidding!