There are two ways to approach G+
(1) Gradually get involved the way I do it
(2) Total Immersion
If you are anxious to get off on the right foot with G+ and get it set up and operating "the way you wished you had done with twitter and/or facebook" --- you need to print out the following articles and STUDY the hardcopy before going near a computer.
Get a full, complete understanding of what Google+ really is, how it compares to twitter & facebook, and what it can REALLY do. It's akin to reading the manual before you try to operate a piece of new technology. Trial and error is ok, but you may end up needing to make a lot of corrections. I want to help you avoid that!
Chances are you are NOT a freelance writer. But the first guide to G+ you need is posted by Harleena Singh. When you read How Freelance Writers can Use Google+, pay particular attention to 7. Consolidation of Google Tools - the most important element in the G+ mix!
Next, you'll want to stop by FamousBloggers.net, to grab a print copy of 10 Ways to Use Google+ For Promoting Your Blog ~ by UGO.