Even if you have never seriously explored artistic drawing, you have used pencils many times in your life. But drawing pencils are not ordinary pencils. There are a number of factors that determine what kind of pencil is right for you and your art. These factors are both important in determining the look, feel and quality of your drawing, and also have a big effect on your experience. Your pencils are an extension of your mind and the creativity locked within it, so pay good attention.
First off, the quality of the pencils you use is very important. You might think that you can just start drawing with the ordinary pencils you have at home, and you could, but your art and your own personal experience will suffer for it. There is a reason why there are big art pencil brands that have existed for more than 100 years: because they know what they are doing. High quality brand drawing pencils differ from your generic office pencils in some very important ways. They are more durable, leave a longer lasting impression on your paper, feel better, are well tuned, and are absolutely worth the extra cost. Don't skimp out on the investment you make in your pencils.
The second thing you have to pay attention to when you are looking for pencils is the hardness factor. Drawing pencils come in a variety of hardness, with H pencils being hard and B pencils being soft. The hardness of the pencil has an effect on both the look and feel of the lines you draw with it. Harder pencils leave thinner, finer lines, while softer pencils leave broader, darker lines. You will usually be working with at least 3 or 4 pencils of varying hardness, depending on the desired look of your drawing, and personal preference. As a beginner it is wise for you to invest into a drawing pencil set, which contain many pencils covering the spectrum of hardness, and sometimes some other useful drawing tools as well.
Another thing you might consider investing in is a mechanical pencil. Mechanical pencils are little more expensive, but are more comfortable than your typical graphite pencil, never have to be sharpened, are durable and are easy to refill.
If you are feeling adventurous you an choose to get yourself some charcoal pencils or drawing sticks. Charcoal allows you to use the drawing skills you already have in what can almost be described as a completely different medium. Drawing with charcoal comes with its own challenges, and is a little bit more expensive, but can deliver an entirely new and refreshing experience. There are artists who swear by charcoal, maybe you will be one of them!
So how do you pick the right pencils?
Simple, you experiment. It might cost a little money, it might cost a little time, but it is completely worth it in order to find your artistic comfort zone. If you just jump in wildly, you will come out disappointed and demotivated, and you will have to struggle harder to find a way to express yourself creatively. Don't waste your energy or time, experiment, experiment, and experiment some more until you have found the right pencils for you.