Now and then you have to stop, take a deep breath, pull your nose out of the details, step back, and take a look at what the hell the big picture is becoming.
The good thing is, I don’t have to think about it; it works when I’m going around taking care of the day-to-day business. The bad thing is, like Emily and I have often said, a short story is like a bout with the flu, while novels are more like demonic possession. The monster in the back of my brain takes on a life of its own and demands more of my synapses, because it wants a more complex structure. The abstract expressionist splatter/jazz solo mutates into a widescreen, holographic, CGI symphony/Diego Rivera mural.
Try that while having a job, a family, and all the usual stuff of life!