As writers, we want our work to resonate with readers. We hope our stories will change someone's life in some small way.
But when we think of writers both current and past, there is often THAT WORK--the one they are known for. We sometimes forget about their other works, and not necessarily because they aren't up to the same literary standard.
When we think of George Orwell, for instance, we imagine Animal Farm or Nineteen Eighty-Four.
But there was also Burmese Days and A Clergyman's Daughter and Coming up for Air.
When I think of Orwell, my mind heads straight to one of his personal essays: "Shooting an Elephant."
As writers, we should want to tell a story that changes the reader. This is something we should, in fact, strive for. It's a lofty and ambitious (and worthy) goal.
But not every work will resonate with readers in the same way and to the same degree.
In these instances, it's enough having written the work at all, whether it eclipses your previous (or latter) efforts or languishes in the background.
It's enough (and so are you).