I still have the stories I wrote in college. I'm sure we all do, college or high school.
They aren't bad, per se. They clearly aren't good, either, as each one I've sent out has received a rejection.
I received an acceptance once, from a small press. It was going to be for an anthology of my short stories, and it's why I started this blog, actually. And my twitter. I was supposed to have a "social media platform" to build fans. Which I have, I suppose. But no anthology, you might have noticed. See, the press went on hiatus due to financial difficulties. And then the owner was going to open a small boutique press. Etc. etc. So I asked for my rights back. No real hard feelings; other than saying "yes", they weren't necessarily the best fit for me. A lot of romances; the questionnaire/informational thing I filled out about the anthology asked for "heat levels" and other mysterious things that really did not apply.
So the bottle of Veuve Clicquot remains unopened; I'll open it when I have proofs in hand, or a book itself. I haven't quite decided yet. It's meant, to me, to celebrate publication. Never mind that it's probably champagne vinegar by this point. It's the symbolism.
But, every once in awhile I get the notion to rewrite one of those old stories. I'm working on one now; I reread it, then realized a new start and new direction would work well with the framework I'd already established. I'm not doing a cut 'n' paste, add and subtract. I have both files open, and I'm referring to the original when I pause in the new. It's exciting work, sometimes, that flash of inspiration where you realize what will make everything better. Untying the yarn snarl that makes things hang just right in your hands.
Would I have liked to be published before now? Well, yes. I've been subbing stories since college. Would I like to be proud of what I've had published, even ten years later? Yes. So, maybe that's the delay. I know I'm still growing and changing as a writer. I know I had a lot to learn in college, and probably even now (example:rejections).
So I revise and rewrite, and write new works altogether. And the Veuve Clicquot gathers dust with the other bottles, waiting, waiting.