Mark is wonderful, and this board has gotten me really interested in his theory. BUT -- and you knew this was coming -- I have tried and tried with his idea of practicing at very high speeds, and it doesn't seem to help me.

Some possible reasons: I am court a lot with judges who race through material that is boilerplate to them and their regular reporters, but not to me. So I already have a lot of butt-kicking stuff to write anyway; is it an overload problem? Maybe I am not consistent enough about writing at high speeds? It seems that all I really get out of this is discouragement, and perhaps that is the problem right there.

I know this works for a lot of people, so all ideas will be gratefully considered at this point. Waaah!

Blessings, Cathryn

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I'm a student, but I'll share my experience with practicing at high speeds FWIW.

When I first started speed building, the instructors encouraged us to practice at about 10WPM above goal speed. Some of my fellow students who seemed to progress more quickly than average told me about their technique of practicing at speeds well above their goal speed. I tried for a week and got discouraged because it was so frustrating not getting the dictation down and having notes that looked like crap. I also subscribed to the belief at that time that I would be reinforcing incorrect outlines writing slop.

Then I met Tami. She also advised to practice at super fast speeds, and once again, it was really frustrating. But this time, because she has been so helpful and encouraging, (and I saw the proof in the pudding when she started helping me shorten my writing--a million thanks again, Tami!) and I have the utmost respect for her wisdom, I stuck with it. It took a while to see the difference. But I have definitely seen great improvement, and now with magnum steno, even though Mark's dictation is WAY WAY WAY beyond anything I can get, (LOL) it is still training my hands to move faster.

I have found that I like to practice the same dictation over and over until I start getting it. That definitely helps with the discouragement. It is such a rewarding feeling when you do triumph. Also, at least as a student, I find it to be much more beneficial to practice the lightning dictation first thing in the morning before class when I am fresh and alert.
Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply. I am going to be looking it over several times very carefully! I think this thought is key for me: >I also subscribed to the belief at that time that I would be reinforcing incorrect outlines writing slop.<

You must be quite some student! It doesn't take a crystal ball to see a lot of success in your future.

I am off to the Eclipse Software Professionals Network seminars in Vegas very early tomorrow. My CTO (husband) is coming with me, and we are going to enjoy a few days of vacation in Vegas and Mammoth Lakes after the convention. I do not believe I will be on the Internet much until the end of next week. All this by way of saying that I'm not ignoring anyone and will look forward to more interaction on this section when I return.

Thank you for the kind words, Cathryn. Hope you enjoy your seminars and vacation!
How long have you been doing the Magnum Steno and shortening your writing? If you don't mind, what speed are you currently at? And how long did it take you to notice a difference? Because right now, I am feeling slowed down a bit, but I think it is bc I haven't mastered the briefs and certain ways to shorten my writing to become automatic. I have been doing this for a couple of months now. Practicing about 10-20, sometimes more a day, just depending if I have school or not. How much do you practice?
Haha Jaimie! It's me, Kyla! KJM are my inititals. I just started Magnum Steno. Tami started helping me shorten my writing about a year ago--right about the time I passed into 120-140. I have a lot of material I can share with you that Tami has given me. I think the really noticable progress started when I got to 150. Then, as you know, I broke my pinky, but I am now back to making progress again.

Anyway, we never really get to chat much at school since we are in different classes. I'll try to sit near you on Monday so we can talk. :)
Oh my gosh, that is too funny! I was looking at your pic and I was like, is that Kyla?? LOL. I just couldn't tell. :) When I looked at your name, for some reason -- well, obviously I didn't look too well, and thought your name is Kim. Sorry. :)
Yeah, please, help, Kyla. I would love any info you have. I have the Magnum Steno book, so we can help each other out! YES!
Thanks, girl!
The good thing is that you're learning this while you're still in school. I've been doing this for 15 years and so it's liking trying to teach an old dog new tricks. Kyla, if you could pass along to me the info Tami gave you for shortening your writing I would appreciate it. I do use a lot of briefs already, but there are some things that I stroke out that I know could be easier. I guess it's never too late to keep improving your skills and your professionalism.
What tips from tami will be helpful. I am at the 200/225 range and need that last push
Thanks. A good answer, but I have been a happy and satisfied MSC member since mid-August.
Maybe this was mentioned up above - but for anyone who has trouble with the high speeds, try dramatically shortening your writing. Using all the phrases and briefs gives you time to have a better chance to stay on the speaker! :-)


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