Harisenbon wrote:My writing is unfortunately much MUCH worse than my reading.
This has been a key sticking point for me. My current job has me writing a lot of memos, letters, evaluation forms, daily work reports and the like - quite often on the spot. Like you, I had never used Heisig or any other component analysis method, I just studied whatever kanji I stumbled across in study or reading. My reading ability is quite high, but I found when I started this current job that my reproduction ability was pathetically low. Since starting the job, there are a lot of high-frequency kanji that I have since become much better at writing from memory (because I write them with high frequency!
), but there are still some kanji that always escape my memory.
One problem is that they are not common characters, so I simply forget them because I don't use them. Another problem is with kanji that resemble each other but for a radical here or there (damn, did that have the 'person,' 'tree,' 'thread,' 'word,' or 'movement' radical on the left?
I've found that applying component analysis to these problem characters has made it much easier for me to reproduce them from memory. And that leaves me wondering - if I had started using component analysis right from the get-go, would I be better off now?
And keep in mind - for all the Heisig-haters out there (I'm not a big fan, myself, mind you) - he isn't the only component analysis source out there. Think Henshall's Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters
or Foerster and Tamura's Kanji ABC
Anyway, I would suggest to the OP that although I wouldn't personally recommend studying every single
kanji using the component analysis system, being aware of the components that go into the construction of the different characters is knowledge that could very well come in handy in the future.