I nearly allowed myself to be seduced by a stranger.
I've got an idea. It's a really really good idea for a children's novel. It's for the 6-8 year old market, so it's not going to be long, just a few thousand words. I could knock up a first draft in a week. A week's not long to spend away from my current novel is it? The novel's going through a bit of a tricky patch, a break would do both of us good. In fact, it would be entirely reasonable to get that quick first draft done, and then I could go back to the novel, refreshed and even more appreciative of its charms...
Writing doesn't work like that, at least, it doesn't for me. Every time I dally with another idea I lose impetus with my novel. The trouble is, those new ideas are just so seductive. They look great, they're full of promises about the future, they're fresh and untainted by the drudgery of the daily word count. But you have to remember that your current project was once a new idea too. Once you were being seduced by it in just the same way this new idea is sneaking around your consciousness.
Like a marriage, writing is more than just the initial attraction. It's about the long haul, sticking together even when the going is tough - those treacle days. It's about delayed gratification, putting in the hours when there is no prospect of reward on the immediate horizon. It's about keeping the faith when the writing doesn't seem to be going anywhere. It's about writing with hope and not allowing yourself to be distracted by flashy strangers.
Some writers manage to play the field and have several projects on the go at any one time. That's not for me. I can't handle more than one project at a time. That children's novel idea will have to remain untouched until this novel is finished. As a writer, I have to accept that serial monogamy is the only way forward.