I personally cleave to the thinking that the best way to learn to write stories is to read and imitate stories (not plagiarize of course, but emulate). Thinking’s part of that process of course, but in a different way. I like to be cerebral and academic for fun (how’s that for oxymoronic), but it doesn’t really help much in my story-writing.
[B]log-writing can be like practicing scales in a way. It can refine your writing in a purely technical sense. Just as with music you attain a sense of the numerical/mathematical just by the simple act of practice. Here you attain a sense of the grammatical/intellectual just by constant and consistent writing.