I just got an email from a CR instructor regarding my last blog post -- "Accomplish List: My Steno Briefs." This CR instructor does agree that a CR student at 140 WPM has the ability to reach 225 WPM.
However, he differs with me regarding steno briefs. He does not believe incorporating thousands and thousands of briefs as a CR student helps one progress. Rather, he believes doing so hurts CR students. He brought to my attention what most people forget about the speed champ, Mark Kislingbury -- he's a REMARKABLE person who (most likely) has a photographic memory. If anyone is a "natural" at court reporting, then Mr. K is FOR SURE! (Click HERE to read why Mark K. believes in "writing short" -- meaning, incorporating as many briefs as possible.)
The CR instructor said that he has seen numerous CR students get stuck in speeds because they try to memorize all these brief forms. I really appreciate this CR instructor's time and effort to reach out to me (and subsequently you too!) with his warnings about steno briefs. However, the briefs that I'm incorporating in my list are mostly ones that I already know of, but I want to know them "in an instant" when I'm writing at those high speeds. Also, I have steno going through my brain at all hours of the day. I'm CONSTANTLY in my own steno world recalling to memory a brief here and there (so much so that I sometimes talk "steno" to my husband!). Most of my briefs don't come from "nowhere." They are usually "families" of each other. For example:
green light - GR-LT
red light - R-LT
stop light - ST-LT
traffic light - TR-LT
yellow light - Y-LT
bank account - B-KT
checking account - KH-KT
savings account - S-KT
These "family briefs" are so much easier to remember since they have the same right hand coordination. You only need to change your left hand to make out the word you hear, and it's natural to think of "B" for bank, "KH" for checking, and "S" for savings.
However, if the brief does NOT come naturally to my fingers and/or my mind, then I WILL drop that brief and just "write it out." No biggie. :) With that said, I still DO want to incorporate AS MANY BRIEFS AS POSSIBLE, so that I can have as much speed advantage as possible.
I guess there's a delicate balance regarding briefs. To brief, or not to brief -- that is THE question for us in the CR world! And you know who can answer that?!?! ONLY YOU!!! If it comes naturally to YOU, then DO it! If not, drop the brief and move on... and learn other briefs (at least that's what I'll be doing!).
Again, THANK YOU to this CR instructor who cared enough to email me! Much appreciated, sir! :)