Sketches are a great way to start, as well as browsing through the gallery. However, sometimes looking through the galleries can be self-defeating because there are so many different styles out there. Sometimes all you see are the amazing techniques that do require some practice and certain tools (sometimes expensive ones). However technique alone does not make for a satisfying LO. I actually don't like a lot of the LOs I see, too many of them are way to busy for my taste with too much focus on technique and not enough focus on the photos and the story.
I think it's really important to step back into your own head and just LOOK at what you're working with, look at your photos and your papers and your embellies and stuff. Ask yourself if you like what you see. If not - why not? What do you like and what don't you like? How could it be better? Move things around and play with them. Also ask yourself WHY are you scrapping this and what about scrapping is important to you? And finally - at some point just accept something you're reasonably happy with and move on to the next one. Your style will develop and change over time, try not to overthink it at any point along the way and just enjoy the process.
Besides sketches, another fun thing to try is to scraplift - basically find a layout you like and copy it, using your own photos and story of course, and changing the paper/colors/embellies as you see fit. And if you post your final result anywhere it's always nice to give credit to the person you lifted from.