To hermitize ourselves enough to sufficiently develop our skills can be challenging, even guilt-inducing. How can this paradox be overcome? Perhaps one sees an opportunity to engage with and improve upon the community or the world on a greater scale, but feels reluctant to leave the security of one's artistic haven.
I challenge the idea that art for art's sake is less meaningful than art made with an explicit social function. Do not forget the importance of defining your mindset as you work. What are you invoking through the project at hand, and what are the repercussions on various planes of consciousness?
No matter who ends up seeing or hearing (etc.) your work, how much money you receive for it, or if it even gets finished, I submit that the creative energy expended, if it is expended with righteous intent, is a win for improving our world.