Make sure you don’t have too much cotton, you probably have too much cotton and it is choking the wick. You also want to make sure your cotton is not blocking the airflow. Try reducing the amount of cotton and check the air flow and make sure it isn’t blocked.
No need to call yourself a dummy, it takes some practice getting wicking done right. People have the tendency to want to put alot of cotton in the coil and end up choking it. It happens to all of us who build, you want enough cotton to wick properly but too much will cut off the airflow. Amount of cotton also depends on how thick your eliquid is, higher vg liquids will require less cotton and higher pg liquids will require more cotton. The best part of this is learning how to fine tune your vape, sometimes I build and wick awesome coils and other times I rush and the coil is not so good, no big deal, either just build another coil or rewick again. Building coils can be alot of fun and when you build that coil that hits just right, kind of makes you feel proud that you built it. I learn every day, that is part of what makes vaping interesting.