I just listened to an interview of a journalist who began his career covering the freedom marches that were a part of the civil rights movement in the 1960's. His anecdotes were fascinating, but as he talked about his work in the 40 years since then, I realized that he saw everything through a 1960's lens. The world was black and white - not racially, but in terms of good and evil. This made me wonder how much of our lives and worldview are set in our 20's never to be changed or even questioned. The reporter was obviously smart and well educated, but he seemed to have lost his curiosity and creativity 45 years ago. Or perhaps he had simply limited his curiosity and creativity to non-journalistic parts of his life.
So, which approach is right? Which is more useful? It seems to me that it depends on what kind of world you are living in. A world that is confidently coherent is an essay world, but a world that is redefining itself is a blog world. And in the same vein, a person confident in their understanding of their world will tend to write in an essay-like way with arguments and bold statements. A person trying to make sense of a new and uncomfortable situation will write in a scattered and questioning way, which will mature and develop over time.
I would say that creativity is more likely to develop in an uncomfortable, searching, blogger format, but will eventually be expressed in its highest form via the essay.