In my experience, authors start calling the novel they're working on a WIP if it isn't their first novel. Do we feel less attached after the first one? Do we feel like we are making more "progress" now that we are one novel into our new calling? Or do we feel more comfortable referring to it as "a work" when we know it will not just be that one great thing we did?
Maybe it is simply that one author referred to his next as a WIP and we all jumped on the bandwagon?
But that's philosophy and psychoanalysis. What I'm more interested in here is what you do when you have two (or more) WIPs. I currently have one completed manuscript that still needs to be polished before I can share it (The Bodyguard), a rough-rough draft (I usually go through two stages of rough drafts--the one I write out by hand with an actual pen on actual paper, and then the typed up version of the first) of the sequel to The Talented that I need to finish typing up before going into the deeper content editing that will be the first real draft, and then a paranormal story idea floating around in my head that really should be captured before it floats right out.
So that is three WIPs if you categorize the idea as a WIP and a solid two if you don't, all in different stages of development.
That is a lot of work waiting to be done.
And how do I balance that? I want to finish polishing The Bodyguard so that I can share it, but I'm tired of putting that sequel off again and again. And that paranormal story is just so intriguing that I want to see if I can step outside of my normal fantasy comfort zone and write a paranormal story that happens in the real world.
So what do you do when you have multiple ideas floating around and WIPs to finish? Or are you just more focused on one story at a time and don't have this problem?