(reprint from 2011)
If you want to be a writer and don't have a blog, start one. Blogging is free and it is something that will help to develop your writing skills. Actually, blogging accomplishes several very important tasks for writers:
1. Whether you gain an audience or not, you will feel accountable to update your blog. That will push you to write often.
2. Needing fresh content for your blog will stretch your mind. You will think of new angles and approaches to tackling subjects so you don't repeat yourself.
3. Knowing outsiders may see your blog, you will be more careful about sentence structure and grammar.
4. Blogging is a little forgiving as far as errors go, and editing is easy. Even professionals have spelling mistakes in their blogs. They don't want to use up extra time or money by hiring a proofreader or editor to check their blog. They like the natural flow of blog writing and they are able to publish their blog as soon as it is complete. If you slip up on your writing once in a while, relax.
5. You will feel validated by getting the art of your writing into public view.
6. If you gain followers that make comments, you can enter into some great two-way conversations.
7. Blogging can help get you noticed as a writer. You might even be contacted by a buyer who'd like to buy one of your blog posts for re-publishing.
8. Your blog can become your personal portfolio of writing style examples.
9. Blogging keeps everything nicely typed and organized in an archive. It is virtual and should stay safe for a long time.
10. Blogging becomes a type of diary. It's fun to go back and see your development over time.
If you're starting out as a writer or are a writer who wants to develop their skills, try blogging on one of the free online formats. Doing so will help you become an even better writer and you never know where that may lead.