Wireless Network Architect, HLR - Jasper Wireless
Morrisville, North Carolina
Hi! You are doing this the right way in looking at the materials first and trying a project second. :)
One thing to understand is that building an application is a LOT like building a house. Different aspects need to be considered (two story house? Three?) materials (wood siding? Brick?), heating (electric or gas), etc.
In software the analogous decisions are "User Interface" (Windows? Java Beans? Command Line?), "Language" (C? C++? Java? Python?), and platform (PC? Tablet? Phone? All of the above?)
Overall, it is good to start smaller/simpler and expand over time. There are lots of fun abilities to learn... but they do take time... and so learning a FEW at a time is a good idea. I have personal projects (and so does my son who is in the field) that have extended over YEARS of time. So smaller projects where you can see results are good. :)
This all being said, let me recommend one book: "Managing the Software Process" by Watts S. Humphrey. This will seem like a odd choice at first (it talks about "how to build projects" and not how you code), but it is like giving you a book on "General Contracting" for a house. :) A house needs an Architect, a Carpenter, a Painter, a Plumber, an Electrician , and so on. What does a software project need? An what should you do first? And second? Watts gives an expert's view of how this work in software. As a beginner... don't worry about understanding it all... but if you LIKE this field, you may be surprised how useful this book is!
Enjoy, and best of luck! Patience and a longer view is just as important as learning a new language in this field. :)