There is no danger that I will abandon my current one to start this new idea. I had the idea for The Sound of Butterflies while I was halfway through the novel I wrote for my MA and I managed to get that finished (though obviously not to the point that it was publishable). TSOB existed in notebooks for a long time before I turned my full attention to it, and I think the beginning was easier because of it. So I'm hoping the same thing will happen here.
That makes five projects I have in mind that I would like to see through to their end: a short story, two novels, a children's novel and a screenplay. I am a serial monogamist when it comes to writing. I am afraid of diluting projects if I work on more than one at once, but the upside of that foible is that I do finish things, eventually. I would rather have two projects finished at the end of (say) three years than four half finished things. I guess that is why, when I embarked on my Wuthering Heights essay, the novel part of my brain shut down until it was finished (although it did turn out to be valuable research; I just couldn't write any of the novel).
Around about now is when I wish I was some kind of writing machine, who could work quickly and efficiently. My residency finishes at the end of February, which is only 4 months away. I would like to think if I sped things up a bit I could have the first novel finished and the children's one nearly done as well.
So why do I work so slowly when these things are all there in my head? When I have the time and the space and the income? I wish I had done some kind of journalism training - the novelists I know who have are very very good at bashing out the words quickly and efficiently, where as I tend to go bash, bash, think, think, get distracted, another bash, go and have a nap. And that is not a typical day I am describing but a typical month, so those periods of not bashing are ridiculously long while I stew things over. I have talked before about the perfect novel in my head; maybe the problem is still that I am worried that when it comes out it won't be so hot. But I'm supposed to be over all of that.
The other thing I have noticed is that my new idea has arisen from the research for the current one. I go wandering along a path and realise that I am too far from the route I am supposed to be taking, so I promise to come back to that path another day on a new project. Just as my current one will be linked to TSOB because of my own personal interests, so too will the next one be linked to that (and probably so on and so forth). An image of train carriages being hitched together comes to mind. Each one will be connected to the last, but by a different link than the one before. I think that's rather a nice way to shape one's publishing career.