So I am going to do a new series of posts trying to clarify the WHY on some of these common bits of advice, starting today with: Why put it away?
Answer: Because you are too close to it. For the last month to year you have lived and breathed this manuscript. You are in love with your characters. You know the plot inside and out. And chances are every time you see the words they start blending together to the point they're doing the hula. So if you put it away you get distance. You gain perspective. You can re-attack it with fresh and rested eyes.
Does it work? Hell yes. I whine and moan and complain as my critique partners tell me EVERY TIME to put it away and don't dare touch it for at least several weeks. But guess what? It's like reading a whole new book when I go back. I see stuff that needs work, but I also see what I did right. Sometimes I even say, "did I write that? Cool!" So don't be afraid of it. It's like seeing a long lost friend.
Any other answers you can add?