One of the most repeated pieces of writing advice I’ve heard involves not writing. “Put it in a drawer for a while/six months/a year.” It’s too bad that nothing happens in the drawer while you’re not looking: the ending writes itself, confusing flashbacks shake off their verb tense issues, characters finally know what they want. But it is useful, I think. Disentangled from my own words, I see more clearly the surgery required.
I don’t have an actual drawer though. More like miscellaneous piles. Or folders on my computer with defeated labels like ‘Stories – Old’. Wherever you keep yours, you should look at it once in a while. Maybe you’ll find something to enter into our contests!