I work differently than most. I usually have a theme I want to try (good or bad, i dont care) and sit down in front of Hammer/Worldcraft (i.e. a dark cave, a castle, acheological dig, etc). I will start with a room or a building that gets the idea out of my head. I will usually to all the detail and texture work as I go. Then I work out from that piece of a map until I have something I like. The benifit I have is that I can get the central theme of a map out from the start and then build everything to match. After I get all the brushwork and textures finished then I start on lights. I do a lot of splitting of brushes so I can use 2 or more textures on a single wall or floor to get a different effect. The downfall to this method is that you have to know a theme from the start and going back to fix something is really hard and time consuming because its already completed. You also have to know what your texture will look like with lights before ever putting in lights. Bt, the niceity is that going back over everything to texture is brain numbing and you dont have to do it. Ive been doing that for well... longer than many new mappers have been alive and it works for me. (it was almost required to do it like that for Doom1/2 with DCK) My recommendation is try a few different ways of making maps and dont even bother finishing them. Most people would agree that looking back at their first couple maps that they werent worthy of playing anyways (i know mine weren't) So, have fun and play with different ideas and techniques until you know what works for you.