suggestions on gaining speed for a beginner

Hello all,
I have been studying the text book (Diamond Jubilee series) on my own for a relatively short time now and would like suggestions on how to practice and gain speed in my shorthand writing. Currently, I copy words and simple sentences from the text on paper, make copies of them, and then periodically (daily if possible) write them in shorthand. Can I do anything else to begin to gain speed and have a wider variety of words to write? I’m not yet fast enough to follow a conversation or follow a news program on tv. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

(by shorthandmark for everyone)

6 comments Add yours
  1. I have gone through nearly all of the documents on the werelight website and then started in again with the Gregg Shorthand DJS (1963) textbook. I'm currently in the middle of chapter 2. I believe I have the various sounds down fairly well but am just starting the brief forms aspect. Thanks, Mark

  2. Thank you Chuck for your insight. I will follow your suggestions. I am going slowly with my shorthand learning because I keep reading that it is better to master the lesson before going on than racing through the lessons without a complete understanding of the concept. Thanks again…..and I wish I had you as a classroom teacher for shorthand!!!! Mark

  3. Very good suggestions from Chuck, and I'm also a great advocate of reading well-written shorthand.    Another thing you might try, based on when I learned shorthand eons ago, is to write (try not to draw) each word or brief form several times until you feel you have them in your head.  Then, ask someone to read the words to you at a reasonably slow speed (just like a spelling word list), and write each down.  Move on if you're not sure of an outline, but this will force you to think as you write and will put limits on your time.  Try also reading the words back.    It's a little like practicing scales on a piano.  Practice, practice, practice!  And, one day, almost without realizing it, you will develop a flow akin to writing in longhand.     Hope this helps.

  4. There are a couple of things you can do to speed up your shorthand, when you are starting.  One of the things you can do is read a lot of well written shorthand.  By reading your brain is getting used to seeing the outlines and in that way reinforcing them in memory.  Another thing to do is to go back to the previous lessons and carefully review them (which seems like you are doing, anyway).  Also, when you copy shorthand in your notebook, read it aloud as you write it.  Practice those outlines that seem difficult.  Use them in sentences.  In your daily life, start substituting words that you know with their shorthand equivalents, in other words, mix longhand and shorthand, but don't try to create outlines for words that you have not studied yet.  Remember that the key to speed is to know your system backwards and forwards — writing shorthand is mainly a brain activity.

  5. I'll add my $0.02 to this discussion since I get LOTS of questions on the topic.  Reading and copying is great and you should do it many times.  But then you should record the material on a tape recorder at an appropriate speed (slow is actually a bit better for beginners), take the dictation, transcribe it, and compare your notes to the transcript AND your outlines to the text.  Practice anything you transcribe incorrectly or write incorrectly.   By the way, I love your screen name!   ShorthandMarC aka Marc  

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