Hello, I have to say thank you for approving my membership here. I am a complete and total novice at this, but find mapmaking interesting. I discovered this site when, while attempting to make a world map for a novel and an RPG adventure that I'm writing, I ran across a few of the beautiful examples on this site. (The one responsible for actually drawing me here was done by Torq.) I probably won't post much at first, primarily reading and learning what I can. (Being so new, I'm not even sure of what to ask to get started) But I look forward to learning whatever I can from this site and the members here.
Welcome, Alleton. You'll find just jumping in and following a tutorial or three will teach you a lot, and that posting intermediate results in a WIP (work-in-progress) thread will accelerate your learning even more. We're a helpful bunch, and always willing to make useful suggestions.
Do you have preconceived notions about features of your world, or are you willing to let some serendipity drive your mapping? I personally find storytelling springs more readily from at least a start at visualization, but that may just be how my brain works. If there are exact graphical situations already crisply perfect in your mind, you have a different task - that of adequately rendering what 'already exists'. Of my two artist daughters, one creates as she goes, and the other imagines then records. Both ways work, just whichever suits you better!
And I couldn't agree more with jbgibson, I did exactly what he says, for a while I experimented on my own with more than a few tutorials you can find in the tutorials section of the forum, depending of what I needed, and when I had a "serious" project to work on, I created WIP thread to get feedback, and is helping me a lot, to learn and to improve my map. This community is incredible, by far the nicest and most helpful one I've ever been part of.