Another Brick in the Steno Wall (Frustration!)

No one's immune to experiencing frustration and a lack of focus, even steno students. I've been experiencing a bout of steno ADD and a string of unsuccessful takes lately, but I'm confident that this, too, will pass.

Just like most get-rich-quick schemes are too good to be true, there's no magic secret to success as a court reporting or captioning student other than physically putting in the practice hours. See my 10,000 hours post on the subject.

If you're just passing through, or if you have already read it and just need a quick refresher, here's the long and the short of it: Like learning an instrument, the most important factor that determines someone's success in steno is the amount of focused, practice-with-a-purpose time put in. No one that puts in the hours should not succeed in becoming a stenographer and passing their state CSR and/or RPR test.

I replied to a fellow student's frustrated message on twitter the other day saying, "... every practice hour is a brick in the wall of success."

Provided that you have a good foundation (solid knowledge of your theory), lay your bricks straight (practice with good technique, and don't accept slop), use the proper mix for the mortar (practicing drills in all categories), and check it with a level as you go (reading back from your notes, noticing patterns of mistakes, & working on those), you will eventually finish your wall and get out of steno school so you can start earning money.

If you're in the same boat as me, check out these inspiring links that should get you focused and back on track to steno success.

Distracted by Facebook/twitter updates, the internet, shiny things, and just about anything instead of practicing? Check out this article to kick the habit.

If your mind wants to get out of school but part of you is holding you back, listen to this excellent radio show that @StenYes shared on twitter.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Lao-tzu


Giuliana said...

Your desire, motivation and PASSION for the field is inspiring! Way-to-go!

I've been a court reporter for 8 years. I LOVED school. LOVED it. ( I know. Sounds crazy, right?) I, too, had my ADD moments, ESPECIALLY when I hit the 200 speeds. I kept telling myself, "I REFUSE to get stuck. It will NOT happen to me. . . "

Um, yeah. It did. Got stuck on 180 literary for 7 months and 200 Q&A at the same time. ~sigh~

But, I kept telling myself I LOVED school. I loved my steno machine ( I TRULY DID. . . still do.) I loved the words and the imaginary world ahead of me. The THOUGHT, the mere IDEA of being out in the world as a court reporter. How IMPORTANT?

You, too, are on the road to importance. What you are doing is SO CRUCIAL. You are going to become part of a strange club of elite folks who understand a bizarre language and have an intense grasp of, not only legal procedures, but medical as well.

It is an adventure. It IS a quest as your blog states! But it is SUCH a MAJOR accomplishment. One worth working for, reaching for, crying over. . . rejoicing in.

Victories may seem short-lived at time, but they are piling up to a lifetime of security.

You have the right idea. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

Never compare yourself to other students. Every students' grasp of the machine is unique.

ALWAYS celebrate your progress, no matter how large or small.

Patience is KEY.

I can just tell you're going to be AMAZING! Congratulations and welcome to the club!

I'm in your corner. ; )

Jenni said...

Thank you, Giuliana! Your words are so inspiring and true. It's good to know I have someone like you on my side rooting for me. The community of steno never ceases to amaze me.

I did get a 210 wpm pass this week, and I know the next is just around the corner.
it's so wonderful to see little hints of progress. I'll be out of school in no time. It is really a labor of love.

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