Your Friendly Ban Hammer-er
Is because you're actually making something that you can touch and feel rather than making something that you can't?
I remember getting that first tablet in 2008 and it was special to me. But then when I tried it out, it didn't have the pen pressure sensitivity and I found myself gliding across the screen too fast (small bamboo tablet). I eventually gave up on the tablet and thought about getting another type of tablet that would really suit a traditional artist. It was so hard the first time because it was on ms paint with a mouse. I really hated the fact that I coulden't produce nicer lines with that mouse.
I totally sucked at everything when it came to digital art, but I was persistent on learning different technique's and trying to get better. The more you understand what's correct, the faster you'll improve.
I know it's going to be hard the first time, but I had to sit through the pain and learn to coordinate my eye with the pen. I could take the easy way out and buy a super expensive cintiq, but that doesn't help my improve my lines and it's way out of my budget.
My recommendation is to practice AND improve everything on traditional first and find your preference and comfort. Then select a tablet that will almost match the aspect ratio (bigger PC, bigger tablet), otherwise it may glide across too fast when you draw. You can practice first with scanned drawings. Practice alot on line art, adjust pen pressure, whatever works for you. Then work on coloring. If you want to extend what you can do, try drawing without a scan.
I actually find small tablet easy to use, maybe im use to it. Its just getting use to the ratio of Tablet to monitor thats all. Small tablet are actually great for painting. That way its too too exhausting for you as you only.need to make small strokes to paint across the screen.