Jenny Shank, in New West, says it belongs in the basement.  Now this can’t be true for everyone – many people publish their first novels – but it should be true for many people.  Not just because your first novel is usually bad, but because clinging to it hold you back. There’s such a thing as practice, though it’s certainly devastating to see a few years of hard work as such.  But writing isn’t an art of instant gratification, and for every ingenue, there’s someone who’s slogged and slogged and slogged away.  And has scary things in their basement/on their hard drive.  I have a tweensy novella, and boy is it a doozy.  Bless my friends who read it.