First of all - congrats on taking the step and purchasing not just one, but two books on cooking. Truth be told, that is what I consider the first step as they will give you some ground work - a basic idea on which you will be able to build on.
Second - and this is even more important for me - be humble. And you definitely achieved this.
Third and last - fully agree with KYHeirloomer on this.
To understand the technique, knowing it's uses and when to use it and understanding your ingredients will bring you to the next level.
It might seem like a daunting task, but trust me, it will be a very fun one. As long as you are patient.
Once you start experimenting you will work out what works and what does not - we all have and are still doing so every day.
Keep trying, be sure to write your experiments down so you don't forget them, and over time you will be amazed what dishes you can turn out from your kitchen.