Like so many article marketers I love to write. And although it's possible to overdo it, writing articles is usually invigorating. It's a fun process and you finish with a real sense of achievement.
Submitting the articles to directories is the boring bit. Of course you have to do it. But because it's so monotonous, it really saps your energy.
You can pay to have this done for you. But it's hard to know how good the service is. Also, if you end up with too many article bio-box bakclinks too quickly, you may get penalized by the search engines.
Of course it doesn't hurt to have your article at several directories, since it's being seen by so many more people, and you will get some clicks to your website as a result. Still, the search engine benefit wanes considerably (if not completely!) after the fist backlink your article attains, since all copies of it are marked as duplicate content.
For these reasons I believe it's much better to focus on writing articles, rather than submitting them. Sure, you will end up with fewer backlinks. But you'll have more original articles out there, and they will be of better quality. That will confer greater search engine benefit in the long run.