Have you ever written a story or book and set it aside while you worked on something else and when you went back to it, it just wasn't the gem you thought it was? More like a diamond in the rough in need of some tumbling and polishing, eh? Me too.
In fact, recently, I reread a bit of my first manuscript Avenging Angel, and I was still overcome with desire to edit. I saw every extraneous word, every adverb, and adjective that needed cutting and wasn't. That happens with every book I am told, but it is still pretty irritating when it is yours.
I do believe that with every book we write we get better at cutting out stuff. I don't think any of us has a problem with adding stuff in, do we?
And,readers are pretty forgiving, yes. But a writer's mind never stops. I recently read a quote by someone who said, "A writer can be looking out the window and still writing a book."
We never stop writing even when we could, and we seem to stop editing when the going is good. (No, I didn't mean to make a rhyme, but you may certainly use it!)
I sure hope that as time goes on, I get better and better at knowing when to say when and when to go through and edit once more. Maybe fans will comment on my book one day and tell me that though my first one was a fine story, the most recent was the best of all. Wouldn't that be cool if they did that EVERY BOOK??