It could be said that unpublished writers can be divided into roughly two types: those that have lots of partial projects and those that nurse only a few. Well, maybe that’s not entirely fair. But sad tales are not that hard to find of unpublished authors with one nearly finished manuscript that they’ve been working on for the last decade.
It does make me think, though, about what people do with story ideas. Some are clearly big ones that can generate an epic book series (J. K. Rowling comes to mind). Others are only big enough to distract a secondary character for a page-and-a-half, maybe to help differentiate them from the main protagonist. Not that this is a bad thing. A lot of writing requires creation of these little ideas and many many many articles and blog posts are written about where to find these. They can often come out of two characters interacting: it is common during NaNoWriMo for writers to discover that character interactions can drive their story in new and unexpected directions. Sometimes annoyingly so.