Happy news – my laptop has returned, and I now have a working left-click button (it’s only taken two years to get it fixed) and the ‘1’ key has been reattached (well, they replaced the entire keyboard actually), so I’m now fully connected to the internet again! Obviously I had the desktop computer and I’m pretty much attached to my Blackberry, but you know… a laptop is just top stuff in this day and age. What? I don’t know.
I’ve had a brilliant response to my last two pieces, about BeautifulPeople.com and the wonderful Hexus. I really love the Stats page of WordPress – it’s extremely useful being able to analyse what people are searching to find this blog, and where they are, and what they’re clicking on. One thing I’d love would be if the information was collated for each individual, so it would show, for example, that one specific visitor from the USA googled ‘Teeline alphabet’ to find my blog, clicked on X link, and looked at pages Y and Z. I’m really interested in SEO techniques; it’s a cool way of finding out how people think and what it is sending people to the site, and what they do when they get here.
I digress. What I wanted to say is that the BeautifulPeople.com piece did well in the UK, and the Hexus piece has brought in lots of traffic from all over Europe, including places I’ve never had hits from before, like Serbia and Hungary. That’s really cool.
The title of this post relates to the fact we had our first shot at a shorthand exam today, at the 60wpm speed. It went surprisingly well, and I’m praying I’ve done well so that I don’t have to retake. Although we are running ahead of schedule in shorthand, so it’s not a major issue if it didn’t go as well as planned. The exam has boosted my confidence a little bit though. I think a lot of shorthand is based on psychology: if you think you can do it, you’ll probably manage it. I’ve been stuck in a real rut lately, where time and time again I’ve ALMOST got a whole passage down, but missed half a sentence in a blind panic, and it’s been eroding my confidence in my ability slowly but surely. The truth is, shorthand IS a real challenge, and our group have done amazingly well to be at this stage after not even eight weeks of training.
We also had a visit from feature writer John Jenkins today. We got to do one of my absolute favourite types of writing, namely a travel journalism article, and he gave us some interesting things to think about when writing features. He said we should let every holiday pay for itself, as we should be able to sell a feature we write about our trips two or three times to various publications. I have a few features I’ve already written that I’d like to pitch to some magazines, and I’m going to write a feature that popped up in my head forever ago and see if anyone would like it.
Anyway, now I’m all fired up, I’d better get back to some shorthand before I start having another hysterical breakdown over all my (infinite) shorthand shortcomings. Also, is it normal, fellow Teeliners, to see outlines ALL the time? Everything I write in longhand is now automatically accompanied by its shorthand equivalent. This whole post has been flanked with symbols overlapping the longhand. Even this. And this.