Whats that, youre starting to get burned out around level 17? You and me both, sister.
I wont claim to know everything about your situation, but I’ve probably been in a pretty similar spot to where you are at right now. The studying becomes more of a chore than it was before and your motivation cant keep up? I have a few opinions on this kind of thing, so I’ll give my two cents and you can take from it what you will.
Firstly, pace is something personal. There is no correct pace for learning japanese. The only correctness about anything when it comes to learning japanese is that you are making an active effort. Your pace is increasing due to burn reviews, regardless of whether you wanted it to or not. You made the right choice in stopping lessons if the workload increased and you have less time to do reviews. With that being said, its extremely important that you not stop. Do not stop doing something related to learning japanese, no matter how small. The hardest part of learning a language, imo, is starting. By stopping, you will need to get over that wall of starting again one day.
How do I know you will start again, you may ask? You made it to level 18, nearly a third of the way through WK, which shows me you took this all seriously. Furthermore you are making this post, which tells me you really don’t want to quit. That kind of drive doesn’t disappear.
So if your drive persists, why do you lack the motivation you once had? I have a theory for this. When we first start out learning this language, we are not thinking of the work…we are thinking about our end goal. We are thinking about the force within us that pushed us hard enough to get over that initial “starting barrier”. As time carries on and we do review after review, lesson after lesson…we lose that. We lose sight of our end goal, and instead set our sights on the next review. We stop reminding ourselves of the long term, which is fatal with language learning. The short term is really nothing but work, which we then associate with our studies, rather than our original goal.
So if that’s the case, how do you fix it? Remind yourself. I believe on one of tofugu’s other websites, I forget which, it recommended making a list of why you started. Do that. Reassociate japanese with the reason why you started learning it in the first place, and instead recognize the work you have put in as proof of your movement towards that. One day, if you do quit, the work done will leave your mind, but the spark that ignited your studies wont. When that happens you WILL have the urge to come back, followed by regret that you didn’t stay. I speak from experience. Save yourself the trouble and do all you can to remind yourself NOW so that it wont come to that.
Should you persist, things only get better. Your review count will begin to even out now that burns are here, so you can set a pace that you can stick with until level 60 (be careful not to double speed 48-60). You are getting to the level where you can actually read children’s manga in japanese (a huge motivator for some). Lastly, the more you study, the more of a habit this all will become. Maybe its just the timing, but ~your level was tough for me too. Its likely just a hump, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…right?
Again, I cant speak for you, but this is my experience. I am only 18, so I haven’t lived much, but I genuinely believe my biggest regret is giving up on learning japanese awhile back. I rambled quite a bit, but its because you seem to feel the same way I did. Hope this helps. If you ever need help with something, PM me!
EDIT: Others have commented about the 66% thing, and I agree with them. Reviews have ups and downs, and Im currently in a down myself. Don’t worry, it will get better. SRS makes sure that you will know it eventually, Trust the system and dont mind correct%