Probably already mentioned but worth mentioning again. Play smart, and be patient. If playing static, don’t go out at night (no advantage in doing so, and can’t spot zeds before they sniff you out). Focus on three skills: tailoring, a weapon skill of choice, and fabrication. You can survive in the wilderness for a long time (forever if you really want to) and cities are not terribly necessary to explore, thus do so only when you are over-ready.
Use tailoring to build a decent set of armor, fabrication for a decent weapon, and weapon skill to actually hit with said weapon. Honestly, once you get the hang of this, getting to endgame is easy and, since there is no endgame yet, boring. Instead, upon mastering this, you’ll probably reset and play with more difficult/different setups, or just wait for a new build with new toys.
If you really want easy mode, pick an archer build with decent strength (I think 11 is good) and take the non-effect negative traits (ugly, etc.) with a point in archery. Then immediately build a bow and some arrows, and sneak around the outskirts of town, gathering basic equipment. Look for basements, they have good food and weapons, avoid shops unless they are in isolated pockets away from high density districts.
Also, you might consider aggro-ing silly zeds into houses, trapping them and then setting the house(s) ablaze. Zed genocide is astonishingly easy and guilt-free with fire.