I tend to think I'm doing the same thing with writing. I'm what is now being called a hybrid writer.
In the past year I published with a traditional house and a small press. Along with that, I published books myself. Some people who don't understand the publishing industry don't get why I'm self-publishing, but in reality my self-published books are supporting me at the moment. That might (or might not) change over a period of years, once I'm able to factor in traditional pub royalties. Many hybrid writers will tell you it's about cash flow. Traditional publishers might pay an advance two years before a book is released. Royalties, if there are any, could take another couple of years.
And speaking of free...
My short story, The Pale Boy, is always free at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.