There was a thread the other day on Absolute Writers Water Cooler where one author was asking others what their yearly goal was for submitting short fiction. Some people tried for six a year. It's sad, but I think that is what is going to be the dividing line between a writer who can call herself a writer, and one who just write as a hobby. You can't live on six stories a year. Some claimed to be working on novels; that's cool, but still... The payoff on a novel might be better in the long run, but short fiction will keep you active and engaged a lot more, not just in writing, but in the industry. Everything changes so fast these days, you've got to constantly monitor and submit and be be involved, get your name out there. If I ever decide to write a novel (which I am more and more shying away from) at least I'll have had X number of short stories published first. I'll have gotten my feet wet, and I'll have something of a following. That's what's important, after all.