My approach to making compost is pretty relaxed:
1) Find a corner of the garden where I intend to make a new bed.
2) Start piling leaves, grass, coffee grounds, and kitchen scraps on that corner.
3) When I'm ready to make that new bed, move the top layer, which is still undecomposed, to a new spot, and start a new pile.
It always used to frustrate me that the spot where I was making compost was the most fertile place in the garden. With this method, I take advantage of that great fertility.
But gardening books act like compost making is some complicated science, involving turning, watering, layering green and brown, measuring the temperature of the compost. Maybe it is. My current favorite gardening book, Gardening When It Counts, claims that homemade compost, made carelessly, is often pretty nutrient poor.
But, I finally found someone, an experienced gardener, to support my relaxed attitude towards compost. Felder Rushing, the host of The Gestalt Gardener, is very, very relaxed about gardening and all its aspects, including making compost. He makes piles of stuff and lets nature take its course. He scorns overcomplicated, instant gratification approaches to gardening. Finally, someone to take on Type A gardening taskmasters!
The article is a great read. So read it, here.