Bridling Writing and Speed Reading

First, thanks to the maintaners of this group; what a wonderful way to stimulate shorthand culture.

I'm a new Simplified student eager to apply every alphabetical element I learn by "spelling" things out in daily personal notes and so forth; but I wonder if I'd better restrain myself until the theory and a sufficient number of brief forms have sunk in. Is there a learning convention to be observed here, or should I feel free to hack away?

Also, as a college student, I like to imagine eventually using Simplified (maybe augmented with Anniversary?) for drafting essays; is it realistic to expect to reach a level of *reading* appropriate for this sort of thing? (I have read in my Simplified text that George Bernard Shaw used to do *all* his drafting in shorthand---but that's Shaw, not me!) I read of average Simplified student speeds of up to 150WPM; if reading speed correlates with writing speed (does it?), I think that would be sufficient.

(by routine-sibling for everyone)