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not sure exactly what you want. You said that want to do a large C project for Linux. Well, what do you have in mind? e.g. game, application, drivers, improvements, etc.
What does the Linux world need? it depends who you ask.
1) a Norton Ghost like program to clone partitions (there's already a project with this purpose. you could join them)
2) a programming text editor for X (Using Qt/Gtk, f.e.)
3) a Disk manager like app for disk zeroing and other maintenance tasks
4) help the dillo browser development team
Work on system call implementation, its a small thing to start of with, understand filesystems/interprocess communication.
Build up concepts understand things and make a vision.
Remember "Rome was not build in a day"