Messages from the middle, Or: Leaving Death after 1,746 days & advice on how to not do that

Almost five years ago, I managed to burn myself out on WaniKani by doing absolutely stupid things. Reorder scripts, staying up later and getting up earlier to do reviews, stressing about getting everything right, you name it. It’s actually amazing to me now how much stress WK caused me, now that I think about it. Eventually I took a two-week break from WaniKani that turned into a few years. I reset to level 20 after a while because I had forgotten so much, which I don’t regret.

And now today I’m about to leave Death. So here is my advice to you, as someone who spent fivish years between levels 21 and 30:

21-day levels can be much faster than 8-day levels

I leveled up as quickly as possible until roughly level 28. I don’t know how long I spent at level 29 the first time, but my second time at level 29 was 510 days. So if you take it easy and level up every two weeks instead of every 7 days and 20 hours, congratulations! You’re leveling up much faster than I did on average.

In fact, if you started WaniKani from level 1 when I got to level 21 and spent a month on each level, you would be about level 60 by now.

10 reviews every day is infinitely faster than 0 reviews a day

When I got burned out, I stopped doing reviews completely. Now I wish I had done reviews every day— any number of reviews greater than zero— because that would have been faster than what I did.

The hardest possible time to do WaniKani is after a long break

You think WaniKani is hard when you do reviews regularly? Guess what, it’s so much harder when you come back from a break and have forgotten everything. My estimate is about 10-20x harder, based on how much longer it took me to review each item when going through my review pile after coming back to WK.

Here’s hoping that I manage to stick with it for another 30 levels!

(I was going to post this on the Death forum but I realized that I want more people to see it)


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