Inspiration Strikes Inconveniently

    I’ve been working long days — 10 to 12 hours — and doing a lot of traveling for work in preparation for a multiple-week work commitment. This not only requires prepping for that, but also getting everything else in the office in such a state that it can be neglected for at least two weeks. I’m exhausted and over-caffeinated.
    I want nothing more than to get a full night of sleep and spend a day or two working on my own writing projects. My imaginary people are waiting for me to get back to them and resolve their problems (they have no idea that things are going to get much worse for them before they get better). I’d like to wrap up one WIP by the end of the year and I can see that light at the end of the tunnel, if I can just find some time to sit down and focus.
    Of course, this is the perfect time for a new story idea to pop into my brain.
    A really good idea, too. One that I desperately want to write. A main character with a fascinating back story and an uncertain future. A setting that I know and love. I’ve even started compiling a soundtrack.    
    And yet, I have no idea when I’ll be able to explore this new world. Already on my plate are a romantic suspense novel that’s about 2/3 complete, and an idea and rough outline for a novella that has been haunting me since summer and which has since morphed into a trilogy of sorts. Not to mention that pesky full-time job.
    So what is it about a pending deadline that sparks my brain to start conjuring new stories to develop and uncover? Why does inspiration strike at the most inconvenient times? Or how can I channel that inspiration to the projects in front of me, so that they get completed?

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