question for the ae pros…

I don’t have a question about the technical part of after effects. My question is more about your workflow on creativity. Let’s say you want to create a new project, you are starting from scratch. Can you explain your step by step process going from nothing in your head to a finished product. Do you watch inspirational work to get creative? Do you draw on a piece of paper your brainstorming? Or do you just keep messing around in AE until you come up with something special?

I find it so easy to just follow tutorials, what I wanna work on is how the pros create something. I know my question is a but vague and the answer is different for every project or situation, but give me some of your experience on anything.

via Video Editing Forums: Digital Director – Adobe Premiere, Premiere Elements, and After Effects