I have good news for you.
There are oooodles of places online in which you can hone your craft.
Get more exposure and utilize that gift that keeps you up at night.
Here' a few ways in which you can just start writing, without a lot of
hoops to jump through before it gets published.
Start a free blog.
Blogs such as this one are published using a "free" blogging template called Blogger.
There is also a similar blogging template under the brand of Wordpress.
Some people prefer Blogger and some people prefer Wordpress. My impression has been that businesses prefer to use Wordpress for blogging and regular folks who make personal blogs prefer Blogger.
You could always try both and see which system you prefer.
Then there is Squidoo. Seth Godin raves about Squidoo.
Apparently you are supposed to create "lenses" which are little pieces of written work that you
create and publish as a "lense" on Squidoo". I don't know if there is any monetization strategy to use with Squidoo or if it is soley an opportunity to get your voice heard and build your readership.
There there are writing contests. Some have an entry fee and some are totally free to enter.
You can find a long list of active writing contests through a website called http://winningwriters.com/index.php#.UdtcSTu-rBo\
Let me know how it goes for you creative ones.