The problem with only having one book publishing credit to my name is having only one book publishing credit to my name. "Backlist is king," or so fellow authors assure me. And while that may be true, unless I self-publish, each story I write must first be accepted for publication. Thus, I can have every intention of wanting to create a backlist but no means to do so. Cue vicious cycle.
I'm impressed at the dedication of writers who consistently publish a body of work. But is quantity really better? According to a recent blog post I read, many commenters bemoaned the fact their favorite authors' works suffered from lack of quality. These readers preferred authors concentrate on writing better stories rather than merely churning out material.
Prolific writers are nothing new. Walter B. Gibson, writing as Maxwell Grant, wrote "more than 300 novel-length" Shadow stories, writing up to "10,000 words a day" to satisfy public demand during the character's golden age in the 1930s and 1940s" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_B._Gibson). Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery, wrote 92 of the 156 Twilight Zone scripts, not to mention the screenplays Patterns and Requiem for a Heavyweight, among other stories (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Serling). Charles Beaumont published over 70 short stories and 15 Twilight Zone teleplays before his death at age 38 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Beaumont).
Of course, screenplays are different from prose writing. And the 1950s and 1960s are far removed from the publishing environment of today. But while print publishing opportunities may be dwindling, digital publishing is keeping doors open to writers. Not only can writers submit novels but also short stories and novellas. Not that print magazines don't exist, but I imagine that space is a premium and advertisers often have priority.
While some writers may dream of a contract with the Big 6, I'm happy to seek opportunities with the electronic publishers. Not that I won't ever seek representation. And there's always the chance I will self-publish. But when I do, the work will be as polished as possible. Meanwhile, I plan to keep improving my skills as a writer while the plot bunny whispers ideas in my head.