advice, guidance and help

I seek.......

Recently I was able to acquire Gregg Simplified first edition manual and started to go through lessons. So far I am still at first few lessons going over and practising. Now here is the thing. I would like to start using shorthand. I am committed to master the skill and use it. And I would like to practice as much as possible from the start. Besides obvious usage of brief forms in making notes ı dare not, for I am still at the beginning of the manual, to try to write any other words in fear of going against some principles that are explained in latter chapters. I would like to ask people that are familiar with the content of the manual to tell me at what point (after which lesson) I could start writing.

Another thing is, as I have mentioned previously, that I would like to have a lot of practice and would like to copy some texts besides material found in manual. But since I am not at the moment able to perceive the text difficulty and complexity (in terms of shorthand writing) I would like to ask experienced people of this forum who have written and read a lot, are there any texts that you could recommend to be used as practice material that will not be utterly demanding at the early stage. For example, is the language level of Aesop's fables quite demanding to be written in shorthand......

My penmanship is rather jerky at the moment. Of course I have problems with maintaining proportions but I am practising every exercise that I have found on this forum. Only thing that I am disappointed with myself is inability to get my R's and L's elliptical. In 50% of the cases they come out rather circular in shape than elliptical. For all other signs I managed to get the motion so these R's and L's are annoying. But I guess in time they will come out right.