You people -those who are new to it- should try some projects that are considered a waste of time. For example, I modeled a simple box and made a series of tweaks in it [cutting, slicing, beveling, bending, etc.]. It may have been a waste of time, but it gave me ideas on how to do modify certain objects for a real project. That's how I ended up making nice-looking cars for FS.
But still, reading the tuts is a must. And you have to read them more than once and try them more than once so that you can lock that info into your head. I have read so many tuts and read them so many times, I might make my own mass tutorial on modeling techniques and how to solve unexpected problems that are not mentioned in tutorials.