If you want to solo, you picked a hard class to start off with. Later (much later) summoner becomes a great solo job, but at lower levels, especially being new to the game and not fully understanding how enemies work and where to fight etc, you will have a rough time of it.
Keep at it though, many people give up SMN because of the challenge involved with leveling and understanding your role in parties (you largely play off of your whm sub job for a while).
If I were you, I'd concentrate on getting summoner up - grind it out the rest of the way to at least 30, THEN look at getting avatars in the solo battles (there are some great strategies online for doing this). The only one you'll really want by level 25 is Garuda, so work hard and try and obtain at least Garuda. Once you have that, level 25 and up change for you pretty decently (Aerial Armor helps a lot). Honestly, from there just take it as it comes, No one will look down upon you for having only Garuda and Carbuncle - since most of the time they wont be out fighting mid battle, only called to use abilities, then put back in thier poke'ball. If later, you solo more, then great! If not, all kinds of people are doing avatar battles at 60+, and you'll be able to pick up your summons in no time flat.
There were many people - back in the day, who used carbuncle all the way to level cap, and then went back and got the rest of the avatars (lvl-20 mini-avatar battles were introduced much later).
Edited, Jan 20th 2009 2:52pm by FUJILIVES
Posting from just above the generator.