Aside from being an anime fan I am also a writer. I guess the reason for this is that I have many ideas in my head and sometimes I need to those ideas out. Now most of my ideas are more self indulgent fantasies about my favorite characters and when I write those I tend to keep them to myself. With these stories I tend to practice dialogue and other parts of my writing style rather than plot and substance, because as I said it's a self indulgent fantasy. However out of these self indulgent fantasies can actually come good ideas. The current serious story that I'm working on actually came from one of my self indulgent fantasy characters telling a story to a friend. I liked the story so much that I thought to write it out.
And that is generally how I work. I get an idea in my head and I will generally write as much as I possibly can. Of course the downside to jumping right in, is that as soon as my brain gets stuck, it gets stuck for a while because I don't really go in with a plan. I have a story worked out only so far in my head and then I've got nothing. It's probably the reason I hardly ever finish any of my work. I know the beginning and I somewhat know the middle, but I never know the end. It's at this point that I generally bounce ideas off of people. I go to people I trust (and only those people) and ask what they think, what I should work on, and where it should go. They give suggestions, I take them into account, but in the end I normally come up with my own ideas that I like. It's the process of talking to these friends is what actually gets my mind working again. It's my own strange little quirk. The repetition of this process is dependent on how long my story is and how many times I get stuck.