I would draw what first came to the paper, follow the lines I make, without considering what the character could be. I would only be focusing on 'how does the image work all together'.
The true skill is to be able to combine both methods.
So, when my Grandma asked me to draw her a rabbit, I genuinely thought about what I wanted the sweet thing to embody. This is such a simple drawing but a massive jump in my skill set to really consider character design.