Kate Ray is the technical cofounder of scroll kit, a visual webpage creation tool that was recently acquired by WordPress.com.
1. Follow a tutorial step-by-step even if you don't always understand what you're doing. I like to think of Hunter S. Thompson copying the books of the Great Masters on his typewriter. You're getting a feel for how things are done in your new language/framework. This part should be easy, if boring, because you're just doing what you're told. [Incline of Optimism]
2. Rebuild the thing you just made or a slight variation of it. Try not to use the tutorial too much. Realize just how little you understood of what you were doing. [Fear tugs, slowing your ascent]
3. Try to build something simple that you actually want to make. Discover that you have absolutely no idea what you're doing. [Sea of Despair]
4. Find a new tutorial related to your new project. (Hopefully your tutorials are providing you with increasing background on the language.) Follow the steps. [Slight sense of understanding, rise in self-worth]
5. Rebuild the thing yourself. [Fear]
6. Start a new project. [Despair]
7. Repeat steps 1 through 6.