I'm not too crazy about dissecting the inner workings here, but I'm not really out to purvey some message so seeking that is missing the point, I think.
It is all idea driven though, as I can’t even come up with a simple sketch without some idea of where it's going. Plenty of philosophical pondering and head scratching involved there.
It doesn’t have to be a finished thought, just enough to give me an angle or two. Maybe some tentative titles (and sometimes only that!). Usually it develops further once it's under way. Sometimes the premise doesn't hold up, and that's the worst. Basically, it's a mind game just to get started.
Failing from time to time just means you're still trying hard enough, so that's good. I'd hate to be stuck in whatever came before, which is not to say that nothing is worth revisiting.
Until the next focus shift!