I think I saw a list of recommended books on this site. I'd add Stephen King's "On Writing" as inspiring. Another way to self educate yourself: read! read! read! then make a journal notebook of great new words, sentences, turn of phrase, even paragraphs...anything that makes you go OH!

Don't be discouraged. I've seen published authors say the minimum number of rewrites start at 6...before they ever show it to an agent or editor... who might want 12-20 more rewrites! This is the process of writing; itís not just thinking something up and tossing it at the page.

Think of the difference between cooking dinner at home and a world class chef. Everyone can fry a pork chop. With a little more energy and experience maybe you make hollandaise. Now go watch Iron Chef and see what real crafters can do. Thatís the goal we all have for ourselves, and what we hope for each other, and we know we wont get there without burning something sometimes!