When I study kanji, I am constantly writing kana. I write kana every single day, because I have hand-written kanji flashcards and a paper notebook where I write sentences in Japanese and take notes on grammar. Really, if you don't want to learn how to write in kana, you can take all of your notes digitally and avoid it, but it's a nice skill to have.
Kanji can be a daunting task at first, but once you get started, you will start to get the hang of it. I promise, it's only your imagination making it scary. You don't need to learn them all at once, you will gradually increase number of kanji you know as you go along. Just a handful of kanji can teach you so many words. Even if it a slow progress, as you review and learn new kanji, you are making progress you will thank yourself for later for. You'll get to a point eventually where you can soar through Japanese text so fast due to your knowledge in Kanji.
I agree that kanji should be a side-task which you don't spend all of your study time on, you should worry about grammar as well equally. Writing sentences in kana is fine in the beginning, but try to get out of that habit as soon as you can, as all kana sentences can get confusing, kanji are necessary to know where each word ends.