When I began to crochet I chose as many different types of patterns as I could because I was so curious as to how they were constructed. For me, it was (and sometimes still is) like figuring out a puzzle, and I really enjoy that "Aha!" moment when it begins to make sense. I also appreciate a clever pattern and projects that look very technical but are quite simple to accomplish.
At this time, I would follow patterns exactly as written, but eventually I began to incorporate techniques I had learned into them. If I knew of a simpler way to accomplish something then I would do it. From there I began to design my own patterns. I could visualize the finished project in my head, as well as the necessary steps to take to get there. That sounds really simplistic, and it's not as easy as that, but I do love the challenge! It's been a great learning process, and I'm still learning, which is another reason why I love crochet so much - there's always something new or different to try.