Definitely worth sticking with! If you have never played ARMA before then you have that learning curve on top of the DayZ learning curve. Learn the keyboard shortcuts and you'll be a long way down the track.
In a nut-shell, the basic commands are:
Z = Prone (very hard for z's to see you)
X = Crouch (reasonably difficulty to be seen but can still move OK)
C = Stand (can be seen easily)
Shift = Sneak (used in conjunction with the above stance controls). Double tap to toggle
Alt = Free Look (double tap to toggle).
G = Gear
F = Weapon Settings
R = Reload (hatchets need to be loaded when you equip them)
Then, as others have said, find out where you are and head inland. Use a map (I use ArmA 2 DayZ Chernarus map
and have not found a better one yet). Raid barns and deer stands for weapons and food etc.
If you are in a developed area with Z's chasing you, run into a large building - wait a bit - then run back out again (by another door if possible). The Z's struggle getting in and out of buildings. If you find tall solid walls you can also use these to disorientate the Z's. If you're in the bush being chased by Z's run into the trees and try to get trunks between you and Z's. If you have a little distance hide behind a tree - crouch - and try to creep away. I've only ever successfully done this once so I usually just give up and get killed. But in built up areas it is quite easy to shake the Z's off your trail.
Finally, just always keep in mind that the game is about survival - not about killing. Shooting Z's usually just attracts other Z's (or bandits) so better to use stealth.