I know a few writers that made compilations of their short magazine and newspaper columns into books, then self published them. Most didn't break even on the venture, but they have a lot of momentos.
In my case, when I exited the field of outdoor writing a few years ago, I had already transitioned into another fulltime career of musician/singer/entertainer performing mainly at senior events. Initially, I was hoping to do just a couple performances a week, but the entertainment business exploded and I perform 5 to 7 days a week, sometimes twice a day. Unfortunately, that left far less time for sailing. So, like many of the older writers, I'm still working, and in my case, a heavier schedule than most - we're just not writing. Lefty Kreh, who is now 87 years old, still lives out of a suitcase, flying all over the world providing fly casting demonstrations and teaching people how to fly fish. A few weeks ago he told me he has to slow down, might only work 3 to 4 days a week.
I hope to make a repeat trip down the ICW in 2015, and like the last time, I'll be hauling my music gear with me and playing the tiki bars and marinas. My wife says I can retire, but in order to do so she said I have to be dead at least three days first.