Computer-based character writing practice: Skritter
With the script technology available these days, it’s uncommon for language learners to focus so much on the writing of languages like Japanese and Chinese. All you need to do is recognise a character, and know what it sounds like, to be able to write it on a computer. Even in my own study, I am trying to focus more on reading, listening, and speaking, as it seems like it will take a long time to rote learn individual characters.
On the flip side, learning how to write characters yourself helps make them more concrete in your mind, and can really help you understand them and their relationships to other words and characters. A useful tool I’ve found to help you write Japanese or Chinese (on the computer, no less!) is Skritter. With Skritter, you can practice writing characters on the screen, and the program can help you with stroke order as well as giving useful information about the characters and radicals. It also provides a tracking service so you can see your progress, and focus more on characters that you are having trouble with.
They provide a two week full service trial for learners of Japanese and Chinese (both traditional and simplified), so if you want to improve your writing skills, check it out!