During my one-year stint to learn Chinese in Taiwan some years ago, I spent all my time studying writing and memorizing characters using flash cards. I think this was a good method because I could sort of visualize tones in my head and so removed much of the guesswork involved for new learners.
But progress was slow because I also tried to learn to write all the characters on what resulted in many hundreds of cards.
I’m heading back to Taiwan and plan to learn to just read characters. I think I’ll be able to pick up my pace of learning by at least 10X.
Do you really need to be able to write characters? Especially now, with PCs doing all the hard work for you?
The only disadvantage I see is missing out on the beauty of characters and the relaxing, almost therapeutic effects of sitting down for an hour or so and writing characters. But from a pragmatic point of view, I don’t see the need.