Sounds like you are doing things right. Just make a few to test and not a bunch you have to pull later on. .38 special is probably one of the best loads to start with. It is the first pistol caliber I ever loaded. I like loading .357 magnum loads even more. Unique is a forgiving powder many start with. Later on you probably will start looking at other powders to see how they preform. Remember to keep track of just how each load you have made worked. It helps from time to time. I always look in my book to see what it is I'm going to be loading when I switch to a different load. A little thing like being off one grain of powder in pistol loads makes a big difference. I don't trust memory in loading.
I hope you remember how you felt when you pulled the trigger of your first reload.