Thanks for the clarity. Well, I chose not to be one ( a professional ) and IMO paid a personal price for it, even though many thought I made a prudent choice at the time.Sorry for the confusion there - it's the first one - would you choose to be a musician if no-one ever heard you
There is a thread called "Regret ( a confession )" somewhere here about my decision not to be one & its consequences.
The second half of the question " If no one heard you" also has more than 1 interpretation. One, is that in order to be a working pro, you have to be recording or performing ( true ). Also are you really making music if you are playing in splendid isolation for yourself alone ?
I've often debated the second point with many musicians, and many surprisingly do feel that if there is no one to communicate//interact/present/offer their music to, it might not be 'music' that they play.
For myself, I agree with the guy who said he feels all is well in the universe if there's a pair of sticks/guitar/ nearby. I too, find my myself being who I am through the music I make more than anything else I do.
I think the answer to your question lies with the teeming millions out there who are the very embodiment of "struggling musicians", doing what they do 24x7,whether anyone's listening or not. Its what they do, period.