To start a project, here I my suggestions:
The most important thing is your confidence! There is no such thing as impossible. Impossible is an excuse NOT to try. Just think: Evidently there was a person that made that item, else it would not exist (or God made out out of nothing- that might be true for something, but not with crochet projects). Well, if THAT person could do it, there is not a reason in the world you could think of, why YOU could not do it.
Before you start reading through the entire pattern first. Often instructions are given within the text, because there is no other way to explain it. The pattern will unfold better as you work it.
Make sure you have all the material on hand. A good idea is always to have a little extra of everything mentioned, since we are all different, work different and even though we follow the same pattern, our project will be unique as we are unique. If you want to make another color? Great! If you want to use another yarn, that is just fine, just figure out what will change in the pattern with the substitution ahead of time, like size, variability act.
Use only yarn/ material from the same dye lot. It it hard to find materials later and you WILL see the substitution in color or texture. ( Unless you know how to “fudge it” like I do sometimes, since I always work with the yarn I have and seldom buy yarn unless it is a yard sale or auction) Most yarn is given to me. I weigh the yarn before I start and then determine what project I make.
Some things you need are not necessarily mentioned in the pattern, like scissors, tapestry needle, stitch markers, row counters….
A good thing to have handy is either your computer’s stickiest application for taking temporary notes or count stitches and rows/rounds or a piece of paper and pencil.
Make yourself familiar with all the stitches given in the pattern. It is a great idea to watch the tutorials on basic stitches to keep practicing to make the stitches even, fluently and with the most efficiency, since time is an asset you do not want to waste. The more you have to unravel, the more your yarn quality will suffer, so you might as well do it right the first time around.
If you make something that has to fit perfectly, like a garment or a case for something, please take the time to make a gauge to check the measurements in the tension of your work methods. There is really no substitute for that, because all of us have a different way to crochet. No sense in making things that will not fit. However, you can always give it or sell it to some, who can fit in it.
Another real HOT TIP for beginners: Like with all things in life: you have to crawl before you walk, practice before you get perfection. Do not expect your very first piece to be the perfection of a masterpiece. Be realistic! Mostly have your expectation on the fun you have while making the project NOT expect a “prototype brand collection special” of immaculate perfection. I tell you the secret of any master: They practiced a LOT, before they got there and the reason they are masters in their field is not because they are so talented, but because they did not give up practicing. You can quote me on that.
If there is anything I can help you accomplish, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to help.
If you care to share your challenges of your beginning in the comments, please do so. It would be fun to read.