Position-Pen-Brief forms

I am new.  I just purchased the Gregg simplified book to learn how to do short hand for meeting minutes.  I am puzzled about how to hold the pen when writing because it seems you go back and forth with where an a word begins and ends.  Will I ever understand an (he) from a letter (e), and (I )from an (a) etc........, what kind of pen should I use and should I just concentrate on brief forms for meeting minutes and learn alphabet later.......I am feeling overwhelmed....
(by ccollett for everyone)