I agree with your post about practice. Just this past week I did a painting that I really wasn't crazy about. In the past I would just put to the side and start on a new painting, new subject. NOT this time. What I did differently this time was to get an idea of what it was that I really wanted this painting to look like or convey and I made myself do the painting again..the second time around it came out so much nicer. I allowed myself that "practice" on the first one, worked out those kinks and the second was better.
What made me post this today was because I had previously wrote a post about perfectionism (or made a comment about an article I read) and someone made a very good point about practice - here is their blog post http://1000geniuses.posterous.com/puncturing-perfectionism.