What do you like best about writing?

Someone asked me this recently and I thought it was an interesting question. The answer is different for everyone and for me, it changes all the time. My stock answer is that I love the moments when the story suddenly transforms. It always feels like magic when changing a few words makes a lifeless scene suddenly vibrant, or brings a character to life, or changes the tone of the whole story. And that happens during edits, so I usually think that editing is my favorite part.

On the other hand, there really is nothing like the feeling when the words are flowing and the story is writing itself. That's a rare event for me, but when it happens it's exhilarating. And that's a first draft thing. So maybe first drafts are my favorite part.

But then there's the moment when I type the end. That's sweet. And release day is exciting and so is holding a paperback copy of my book for the first time. And you know I love readings. 

What I liked about the question was that while there is no doubt that writing can be a lonely, frustrating and exhausting endeavor, focusing on what I like best about it makes me forget all that and feel grateful for all the parts I love. Which is true for everything, isn't it? If I think about the parts of my day job that I like, I don't get quite as irritated at the icky bits. Same with my relationships or the little town where I live.

If you've read my stories, you know that I spend a lot of time thinking about the hard stuff like grief, loss and anger. Mostly I love the promise of redemption at the end of those kinds of love stories. I'm not usually the "look on the sunny side of life" type. But I have to admit that focusing on the good parts is a way to love the work. And loving what I do makes life a lot easier.

I'd love to hear what you like about your work. We're all passionate about something, but sometimes the hard or frustrating or just plain boring parts get in the way. When that happens, what keeps you going?