I believe Hubpages is a great place to share your writing abilities and great at attracting readers. Personally I would prefer Hubpages to Squidoo.
As for the article directories, it's becoming more of a problem coz a lot of people are abusing it and not many actually read content from article directories. I would say the best place still to get your article noticed if you were to go for this is Ezinearticles. There are also other options like Infobarrel, which is relatively new but very popular. Check it out.
If you wanna get more out of your writing i.e some form of income, places like DemandMedia, Elance, Freelancer, Odesk are great websites to start off with.
Blogging is also a good idea but very competitive. Then comes the problem of getting traffic, readers and SEO. If you dont want to get a headache from all this search engine rankings etc I would advise you to stay away from it.