Welcome to the club of very special people Vince, anyone that takes on a challenge like ours is either mad, insane or in need of therpy, personally I think I fall into all three, but best of luck and I'll try and be in as often as I can to offer my support
The best advise I can give is don't let processing back up when you get in make the time to edit and post your shot on the same day if you can as it's all too easy to be a week behind in your edited faster than you'd believe
It basically gives you a digital negative; when you shoot in jpeg, the camera processes the shot for you - decides on white balance, exposure, clarity, contrast, brightness and a whole host of other things - and then deletes all the image information it doesn't want.
The RAW file contains the raw image data, allowing you to process the information as you see fit.
As a basic example, if you take a massively underexposed photo, there's nothing you can do with the jpg - but with the raw file, some of the information in the shadows is still there and can be recovered.
Yeah it is pretty in pink. You could get so much more out of this in raw. You can really pull out the pinks and get the exposure looking light you shot this in summer and not british summer if you get what I mean haha.