Hm, not sure who you read, but might’ve been me. I write each kanji 18 times per review, and an additional 18 times if I get it wrong (if I miss both the reading it’s 3x for 54 times). Like @NishiWhat, I find it incredibly useful for learning.
As most of the people have already said, recognition and recall are separate skills, but they work hand-in-hand. HYPOTHETICALLY, if you read a kanji enough times, you should be able to recall it, but this will not occur remotely fast enough to be useful, especially if your Japanese study is limited to resources like WaniKani and not regular reading of Japanese material.
Learning spacing and stroke order is so specific and particular that it’s incredibly hard to not remember the kanji once you’ve written it enough. Of course, unless you make some extra component to it (I write furigana if I’m drilling at work during downtime or verbal recite the reading after each completed kanji when I’m at home), writing won’t help you remember the readings.
If you just intend to consume Japanese media or converse, then combining WaniKani, KaniWani, and a grammar resource should be enough for your needs. Writing is very time consuming and I’d only recommend it if:
- You intend on living (and being an active community member) in Japan.
- You intend to pursue some sort of occupation involving Japanese.
- You are struggling to remember kanji and mnemonics are failing.
I should note that the writing drills are not my only form of practice. As I live in Japan, I’m constantly leaving notes for my coworkers, providing some helpful notes to students who got the flu, etc. With one of my JTEs, I actually just write everything on the board so he can focus on teaching, answering questions, etc. Makes it more depressing when I have to interrupt him to ask about a kanji I don’t know though. Since my main weakness in Japanese is 音読み, I also have many pocket-sized notebooks sorted by 音読み. I drill backwards in it, and use the front to simply categorize them in a neat table. I commonly use a backpack when traveling, so I can store them easily. I’ve found it very easy to learn new spellings when I hear a word by pulling out the appropriate notebook and letting the native Japanese person point to the right character. If I don’t have it, most of the time they’re willing to right it in the next blank space so I have a new kanji.
Btw @tirrorex, my hobby is attempting to beat Yen Press to translations on light novels, so, depending on which series you’re reading, I may be able to help.