When you paint in pastel, you have to be cognizant of two paintings: one up close, and one from further away. When you're marking your paper, when you're up close and blending, things don't always look right. It looks harsh. It looks almost fake.
But you must step back. When you take that step back, you see the larger picture. The details blend together to make the whole. When you step back, things make sense.
But hey, it's hard to take that step back sometimes. It's hard have the patience. Re-evaluating your path takes time sometimes, and it's hard to force yourself to do it. But the end product is always worth those times of stepping back, and observing the big picture.