anybody have any tips or ideas on how to start off?
I'm guessing you're asking about how to get an account and everything - right up from the beginning? First of all, you'll need your own blog or website. It needs to have enough actionable content on it that can drive traffic to your site (so, a blog with all your poetry=not actionable; a blog dedicated to tourism, complete with pictures and guides=actionable). Once you have your account, you go to the Google Adsense page and sign up: http://funadvice.com/r/3n5n3g6v7j If they feel your blog is actionable, your account should be approved within a couple of days. You need to be 18 years old to sign up for Google Adsense, so you may have to get a parent or another family member/friend to set you up.
As an alternative to setting up your own website you could create an account at 'hubpages' , From there you could sign up for google adsense through your profile page.