One of the interesting things about being published is that your words aren't always your own. Or your time, really. Before I had a contract I could write whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Silly stories, or smutty bits of fanfic, huge posts in online role-playing games - the writing was "just for fun." Except when I got serious and started pushing toward what I needed to do for publication.
And the thing is, I got my contract very quickly. A Brush of Darkness was my first real attempt at getting published (though I hadn't really meant it to be - it was supposed to be my "learner" book. Fate is odd that way, I suppose.)
But one of the trade-offs to that is that I don't have a trunk full of additional manuscripts I can pull from. I'm writing as I go - which means contracted work comes first, even if I get struck with inspiration for something else. And clearly, every author is different. I'm a slow writer and I've got all that "Real Job" stuff to deal with, along with a couple of sproglets. So my writing time is limited...and as much as I might like to take off with one of these fabulous ideas that hits me throughout the day, I can't really justify it when I've got a deadline hanging over my head. (At least not much - sometimes I do write some things down - I've got an idea notebook I keep with me for these sorts of things. As long as I write it down, I can come back to it.)
Some days, it's hard to stay focused, particularly when the new ideas start knocking and demanding to know when it will be *their* time.
In an effort to soothe the "wanna-be ideas", I am going to attempt a small pet project in the upcoming months that I'm pretty excited about, namely in the form of a web-comic. It's strictly for fun at this point, but since I've always wanted to try my hand at writing graphic novels, it should be a good way to get my feet wet. My artist (Aimo) is actually a licensed sketch-card artist for Marvel and LucasArts, and if you're at all familiar with Bioware's Dragon Age or Mass Effect fandoms, you might have seen her work in the form of numerous character sketch cards and fan-comics.
We'll be doing an original story, though I'm not sure how many issues at this point. (Even when I think small, the story-arcs get big sometimes.) I'll post more details as we get closer to going live- Spring 2012 is our current aim. (We'll be posting it over at SadSausageDogs.com - not linking yet because it's still in development, but thought I'd throw it out there as a heads-up.)