Taking those first steps can be intimidating, but we have plenty of friendly people to hold your hand.
A couple of suggestions to get you started:
1: in this forum there is a sticky thread called something like "Quick Start Guide to Mapping". Read this first.
2: Check out the Finished Maps and Cartographers Choice Forums for inspiration. DO NOT get intimidated by the quality you find there, 'cause EVERY artist there started where you are now. Some of them even learned the trade right here.
3: Check out the Tutorials forum for walk throughs on quite a lot of differnt styles and progs. Practice with as many as you want but try for one at a time. After a while you will start to develope a style of your own, and then it is off to the races.
4: Once you start a map, post it and any others you may do in the WIP (Work In Progress) forum for guidance through our (not) pattented C&C techniques. Don't worry, we don't bite and just about all the C&C will be towards makeing you a better mapper. Ask any questions you may have about you maps in that WIP thread as well.
5: Look through the other WIPs as well, and don't be afraid to ask how things were done if you didn't quite get the technique used...
Hope this helps you withh those first steps
And Welcome to the Guild, The Mappiest Place on the Web