And before buying a lawn mower, you should cut your lawn with a pair of scissors, so you can really get one-on-one with the grass and how it works.
Making up a crossword by hand is a difficult task. It's a good intellectual challenge - you have to think in two directions at once, considering not only the quality of the Across word, but also the likelihood of that word intersecting with valid Down words. It becomes sort of instinctive over time - but I'm not sure it's an instinct that functions as a useful skill if you use more automated methods. There's no virtue to it.
Back in 1976, my chemistry teacher insisted that we spend four weeks learning how to use the slide rule. Calculators were in widespread use by then, but she explained that calculators have batteries that run out. A slide rule never runs out. Over the years, my skill on the slide rule has been utterly useless to me. I'd say that doing crosswords by hand is the same.
Even when I was creating crosswords by hand decades ago, using specialized crossword dictionaries. I longed to find a way to automate the tedious aspects by getting my Apple II+ to do the hard work. I wrote programs for it, but creating the dictionaries was hard, and the computer was too slow to be much help. (I did create a damn fine Word Search puzzle creator, though.)
Today, the programs will do a wonderful job of helping you create a puzzle. You can use most software in a semi-automatic mode, where you enter words, and the software instantly offers potential fits. It allows the constructor to focus on the creative, dare I say, artistic side of things. Where it was once impressive to create a grid that worked at all, today the impressive accomplishments involve ingenious clues, or challenging words and grids. The use of software has made puzzles far more interesting, and lets constructors focus their energy on adding elements that make a puzzle more exciting for the solver.