Many of us have been at this writing gig a long time. Some of us, a very long time. (Hello, gray hair! Where did you come from?) We often worry about not writing quickly, not having enough work out in the world. We worry that if too much time elapses between one published work and the next, our readers will forget about us.
Sure, this is possible, but "Publishing Moves On. Do Readers?" by Jael McHenry over on Writer Unboxed makes an excellent point. Even though "publishing coverage is about the new" that isn't always the case for readers.
She talks about how her debut novel was published six years ago, but she still hears from readers today. Even now, "...the book lives on in thousands of copies in thousands of places: on readers' nightstands and bookshelves, in Little Free Libraries, for sale at used bookstores and in church basements, and, of course, eternally available in e-book with just a few clicks."
I absolutely relate to this! My flash fiction collections have been out for a few years now, but just the other day, I heard that a family member and two blogger buddies recently read and enjoyed my work. I was thrilled!
So, please don't beat yourselves up or rush your work or think your words, your stories don't matter. They absolutely do. Like Ms. McHenry says -
"I'm here to say this: whatever happens, you'll have readers. You may hear from them and you may not. They may number in the thousands or the hundreds or the dozens or the ones. But any book that you put out into the world will have a life longer than you can know, and it'll touch people in ways you never foresaw."