One of the greatest and most successful composers in history, Sir Paul McCartney, can't read notes off the staff line. This may come as a surprise to any of you who are taking lessons or are thinking about taking lessons on a musical instrument. Watch this video http://mikeellismusicinstruction.com/NewCmsT.html to see what Paul says about it.
Music comes from within. The conveyance of music used to be that you had to transcribe it (on the staff lines) to be able to distribute it to others so they could play it and enjoy it. That was before the days of modern technology. Now you can record your music and post it on sites like YouTube, Reverb Nation, and a host of other sites. Recording technology has become so easy to use that thousands of people are recording in their own homes on the computer and producing very professional quality recordings. I don't know how many each day are posting these recordings on the Internet, but you can bet it is a sizable number.
What about copyright concerns? It used to be that you would copyright your music by having it transcribed and submitting that to the copyright office. Now, you can just send a recording of your music, along with the proper forms and fees, to the copyright office. You don't need to be able to transcribe it or to pay somebody to transcribe it for you. Also, you can publish it by simply posting it on the Internet as proof of ownership. You see, the copyright office doesn't take every submission and cross-reference it to every other submission to see if it is a copyright infringement. They just hold the submission, sender information, and date of submission in case there is ever a dispute. The earliest submission is the owner. George Harrison of the Beatles lost the suit borught by the Chiffons for copying a large portion of their song "He's So Fine" in his hit "My Sweet Lord." Their proof was that they distributed theirs earlier.
So go ahead and play by ear, and publish your songs on the Internet. Also, you should probably take a look at my previous article "How We Learn" at http://bubly.us/1vNt.