Let me ask everyone: Am I being ableist or elitist in saying that someone who wants to perform music in public had better be taking music lessons from good instructors? By doing so, am I depriving others of the freedom to play music?
Let me go one further. If someone (who may or may not be musically-gifted) insists on performing in public without adequate preparation, should I offer some advice or should I look away?
Many choose to look away. I can too. Frankly, I have better things to do. But here’s the thing: I never want to see anyone perform a piece of music they are not ready to play, no matter how loud they (or, usually, their parents) scream for them to be on stage. Especially not if the child is gifted and has a future as a musician.
By the same token, I think that writers are doing themselves a disservice if they publish prematurely, without the benefit of good editing. Indeed, they could be reinforcing the poor image the world has of indie publishing. So, in a way, this is everyone’s business.
I feel there is a deeper issue at play here. It is never our circumstances but our mindset that holds us back. Lack of funds has never held back the determined and dedicated writers that I know personally, who have traded all sorts of things for editing and proofreading.
Find reliable and trustworthy people to trade with. If you want something bad enough, nothing can hold you back. But proceed sensibly, with reasonable expectations and awareness of consequences.
Stop focusing on lack. Stop complaining about ‘circumstances’. Everyone has circumstances. Be proactive. Start building relationships and help one another achieve common goals. Always reciprocate. This is not something one person can do on their own. No-one is so lacking that they have nothing to offer. Be a good beta. That’s as good a start as any.