Yep, agree with the others, just get the sts on the needles any way you can and keep going. Even tension and stitches come with practice and that inclused knitting stitches so you get the hang of handling the yarn and needles, not just doing the cast on over and over.
You might take a look at the video here for the 'thumb' alternative CO. Years ago I could never get the regular long tail cast on to come out right, but realized that if I put the thumb loop on the needle, then knit into it with my right hand and the working yarn and slipped the loop off, it was exactly the same. The video says it's slow and awkward, but that's just for the person in it, I think - I'm quite fast with it and make nice even stitches after 45 years of using it.
sue- knitting heretic