BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum.
21 years I've been a Muslimah, mashaa'Allah. Plenty of time to have memorized the whole perfect book. But have I? No. Not even a complete juz of it. AstaghfirAllah! My approach to the Quran, particularly to its memorization, is to memorize what I love to read or particularly want to know. So, as surah Inshirah was the most moving and loved by me in my first days of Islam, it was one of the first suwar I learned. I didn't just do them in order and work backwards. I picked and chose from suwar and ayaat that were important in my life. Before even learning Al Alaq, I learned Al Mulk. I had read about the benefits and rewards of Al Mulk and so it became of great importance to me. I learned about the Sunnah and reward for reciting the last 10 ayaat of Al Imran upon waking for tahajjud, and so learned those. I learned the last three ayaat of Hashr long after learning ayah 17, which is a sentence I was greatly moved by. Oh, I could go on and on with the dibs and dabs of Quran I have memorized - a scattering all around without any order to the onlooker. But to me, it is the roadmap of my Islamic development.
I have thought about the subject of Quran memorization, and of course, I'm always dissatisfied with my progress. However, I read something somewhere (LOL, obviously I have no idea where or I'd quote it here) that had a big impression on me. I'll be looking around until I find it to include in this post inshaa'Allah. In effect, it said that it was more important to understand the Quran than to just recite with no comprehension. A colleague of mine once said in conversation that it was not important how much Quran we had memorized, it was important that we live it. Subhaan Allah! The Akram; Allah, azza wa jal, put such joy in my heart by sending me those points. I see people recite, knowing the whole Quran, with no idea what they are saying. I thank Allah that He made it a real and beloved thing to me. Rather than think of what I have memorized as a haphazard smattering of insignificant proportions, I now think of it as my treasure chest. There are many things I look forward to adding to the chest, but I will continue to follow my heart, my love for the words of my Creator, to ensure I do not become a parrot inshaa'Allah.