As a reader, I understand this all too well. I start a book, I fully intend to finish, but then I read a sample of another and start reading that one. It's not a reflection on the first one, it's simply mind distraction. Plenty of readers are able to shelve the next book until they finish the one they have started. And I applaud that. I do. Writing though can be different.
If you are anything like most of the writers I know including myself, you fall in love with whatever you're currently working on. And relationships with your writing are kind of like relationships with people. You need to be monogomous to finish anything. So you commit to whatever you're working on and with commitment comes deeper attachment. But writing isn't monogomous. It simply isn't.
Take my new novel which is a sequel and quite frankly at the moment I think it's my best work. Of course without the first book in the series, it wouldn't exist. Not relevant. So right now I'm at the point of thinking maybe I should be pitching my new one. It's just so much better. I seriously began contemplating it. Then I began writing a scene that somehow didn't fit. I thought this is a story right here. I opened a new doc, typed it all in, gave it a working title, so I could come back to it later.
Am I cheating now? I mean I'm committed to the current story, and stealing a great scene and working on a new one? Well only if I don't get right back to the current one. My protagonist is waiting for her next adventure, next mishap, next soliloquy, so I must return to it. On the other hand, I must never forget to stop, take a break and note down my thoughts and ideas. To keep a notepad or tablet at my bedside for those 3am mind ramblings. Then get back to my anxious hero or heroine or villain or historical figure who's patiently waiting for my direction. It's multi-tasking for the creative soul.
And by the way, all of this applies to the workplace. Particularly if relationship building and client services is part of your day. Remember to focus on your bread and butter accounts but always continue courting new ones. Just prioritize. That's from my years as a client service exec. Trust me on it.
Life isn't one dimensional, and neither is your writing, your job, or any of your relationships. Though relationships require a bit more tending to. And yes, if they are of the romantic sort, monogomy is recommended. You'd do well to keep that in mind.
So for me today, it's back to Pippa and Devon and the smashing to smithereens of Elroy. Stay tuned.