suggestions on gaining speed for a beginner

Hello all,
I have been studying the text book (Diamond Jubilee series) on my own for a relatively short time now and would like suggestions on how to practice and gain speed in my shorthand writing. Currently, I copy words and simple sentences from the text on paper, make copies of them, and then periodically (daily if possible) write them in shorthand. Can I do anything else to begin to gain speed and have a wider variety of words to write? I'm not yet fast enough to follow a conversation or follow a news program on tv. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

(by shorthandmark for everyone)