hi I started ruby a year ago and faced exactly the same problem as you.
If you do a search for posts under my name in quotes youll find some of
my earlier posts and reccs there.
If you havent got a good enough grounding to start confidently building
your first simple scripts then id say you should just go through the
chris pine learning to program book. Fortunately its not as dense as
other books and is an easy read plus it has exercise - a must for any
book thats aimed at learning. Once youve done that you should be more
comfortable with the language.
Thats what i did and after that i went on to the excellent book Everyday
Scripting. Dont let the testers part in the subtitle on amazon put you
off its suitable for everyone (other reviewers say so as well)
especially beginners. In that book youll be making actual scripts such
as an amazon screen scraper etc rather than exercises like 99 bottles.
Its a great book and like all good beginner books provides exercises for
you to practice with.
After that i dont think youll need pointers in what to do, youll know
enough that youll start thinking of things because you know you can
acomplish them. I think when you havent got the grasp of something your
subconcious seems to hide excellent project ideas from you!
I went on to make a simple ebay screen scraper as the commercial ebay
market research sites didnt cover something i needed.
Then a todo list in preparatino for rails
and now a budgeting app. They are all written for the console.
Oh and get really good with arrays and these libary methods .each
.collect .find .find_all .inject .join
you will use them all the time!