I'm making a concerted effort, alongside starting this amateurish blog, to send off my writing and (hopefully) supplement my income. I don't know how realistic that is. I used to send off poems and get them published, but I feel like it's one of those things that you spend years not only getting better at poetry, but learning about the market before you get any success. Now I'm starting from scratch with stories and achiving publication in one seems to have no bearing on the other.
My friend craig http://blog.craigpay.com/writing/ put me onto duotrope http://www.duotrope.com/index.aspx which shows listings of magazines, worth a look if you write stories. But it's hard to know where to start.
And then, theory is, that when I send off a novel to a publisher I can list my published stories, that's the theory.