I experienced one of those rough patches last night where everything I read in my manuscript sounded awful. You know those days. Thankfully they pass quickly for me and the next night I'll be in love with it again, but in an effort to motivate myself I went back and read one of my first query drafts.
It's so awful I would never subject anyone (else. yes, I made the HUGE mistake of sending it out to a few agents last year!) to it let alone humiliate myself by sharing it here. It sucks. There I said it. Not even the closing was good. The word count was ridiculous, it was packed with cliches, and the story sounded like crap. After I got over the initial cringe I laughed. I sat there staring at the computer screen with a big ol' smile spread across my face because where I'm at today is light years ahead from that horrible beginner query. Not just the query, my writing, the story--me. We've all come a very very long way in the span of a year. So the next time I hit an icky mood and think my work isn't so hot I'm totally pulling out the old query and first drafts.
So instead of hiding your old work under a bed or if you're considering sending the file to the trash bin, think again. Save it for those days when you second guess your writing because I guarantee you'll see just how far you've come and it will make you feel loads better. But if you're like me and actually allowed other human beings to read the early mess I recommend blocking out that small detail from your mind. It's way easier than crawling under the bed with the dusty old first, second, third or fourth draft.