I would like to create a magic pen for every writer to help them understand the fine line between letting their story breathe and choking it to death. The pen would have a few special features:
Writers could flick it in quick, grandiose arcs to make the bad words fly off the page and dissipate into thin air, leaving only the good words behind.
The pen wouldn't allow them to write for at least a week...maybe two... following every feedback session.
The pen has a filter that allows a writer to absorb only questions which help them figure out their story.
The pen knows, instinctively, which people will provide feedback in a way that helps them grow as a writer.
But here's the thing...
Writers already have that pen. They just have to figure out how to use the darn thing while it's exploding huge ink splotches all over their faces. Because the fact is...those ink splotches and Lost Stories are what you need, or you will wrap yourself so tightly around your story it will suck in its last, gasping bit of air before you finish the first draft.
You have to give yourself permission to be messy. And fail. And take breaks. And say no. And listen.
So that your story can breathe.
What are you doing to help you figure out how to use your pen?