How do you feel when you’re heading to work? Are you excited? Are you anxious? Are you looking forward to it or dreading it?

Everyday when I head into my office to start my work day I can’t wait to get going. I make a list of all that I need to do that day, prioritize them, and get started. I put all the most dull work first to be sure that I get that done. But I’m itching to getting back to my writing (what I almost always do last in my day both because I get to anticipate it all day and because my creativity is at its best from about 3pm).

All right, perhaps you don’t work in publishing full-time like I do (I format books, edit, and coach writers in addition to writing my own books). So, if you work at another job as well as your writing, are you anxious to get back to the writing at the beginning or end of your day (whenever you have the time to get down to it)?

You will never meet an author who will tell you that writing is a breeze. Oh, there are books that “seem to write themselves.” Nonetheless, writing is hard! It’s really hard work. If you’re a plotter, you’ve got all that plotting to do and character examination to figure out and then you hope that your characters do what you planned for them to do. If you’re a pantser, you may be worrying about what you’re going to write next because you’re not quite sure where this story is going to go.

But once you get going, once you sit yourself down, open up that document in whatever program you use to write — be it Word, Scrivener, Pages, or something else — and get started… well, that’s where the magic happens. Eventually.

It may not happen right away because it may take you a few minutes to get back into your story (sometimes pre-writing will help that), but once you’re mind has re-entered the world of your story it’s truly a beautiful thing. You get lost in the story. You feel what the characters feel. You can see the world in your mind’s eye, it’s so real; hear your characters voices; watch them move and gesticulate, and possibly even taste that apple they’re eating. You become the point-of-view character — and when you do you can be sure your reader will feel that way as well when they read your work.

When you stop writing, you may feel like you’re waking up from a dream, but it’s better because it’s a lucid dream where you can determine what happens. And you can look back at what you wrote with a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. As Dorothy Parker famously said, “I hate writing, but I love having written.”

But what I’m arguing here is that you shouldn’t hate writing. You should love it as much as you love having written. Falling into a story, living that story — or as some more technical people might say, being immersed in the flow — is as wonderful an experience as anything. You get to escape. You get to forget all about the real world and live in the world of your imagination and what could be better than that?

So, be happy. Look forward to your work. Be sure that it is, truly, fun. If it’s not… maybe you should try doing something else.