|I see you over there, Space Needle.|
Take a breath.
I've learned many things over the course of my processes. One of the most useful bits of knowledge is the sure understanding that time away from my manuscript improves my work. The longer I stay away, the better.
Closeness with a manuscript dulls our ability to see the whole work objectively. You may be too focused on a single issue, or on tinkering with dialogue. You may feel like you know a character so well that you can't see how her actions are inconsistent over the course of the story.
Think of your story as a city skyline. When you are standing in the city, all you see are the buildings around you. Skyscrapers block the view of the other side of town. But get on a boat and head away from the city. The further away you get, the bigger the picture. You are able to see how buildings and open spaces and color and light interact through the entire skyline, rather than in one spot. You can see things you would never have been able to see if you hadn't put distance and time between you and your work. Move back from your manuscript. Stop obsessing over that one scene or dilemma; wait to return to your manuscript until you can see the interplay of your characters, your plot, your crafting, your pacing.
How long with that take? In my experience, the longer the better. The couple of weeks it might take for beta readers to get notes back to you is good. The time it takes to write an entirely different novel while your first is fermenting in a drawer is even better. I've been away from manuscripts long enough to forget characters exist. Which makes it easier to chop the losers when I realize they don't belong. I've been away from manuscripts long enough to forget the plot twists or phrases that really do work. My delight in these cases becomes an assurance that This Is Good. The ability to delete and the ability to love our work is essential for writers.
LDRs are torture. They are a test of patience, endurance, love and trust. Apply patience to your writing process, knowing it will get better the more time you spend on it. Prove your dedication to your craft by enduring the time apart from your work. Love your work enough to want it to be the best possible. Trust that time away from your work will result in a joyful reunion with a manuscript whose flaws you can see objectively, but that are no longer overwhelming.
How long do you stay away from your manuscript before returning to revisions?