To light a fire you need heat. A cold stove will suck up a lot of the initial heat of a fire, and can put it out. My answer: Get a BBQ charcoal chimney and start a load of coals like you would to grill something. Then, dump the coals in the stove and throw a few logs on and watch them burst into flames! :) It's not fancy, or skilled. It won't get you a merit badge. But it will get you a nice roaring fire with plenty of heat to warm the stove up and keep it hot!
Thanks for the tip - I can see it being a good one for some people who have trouble getting their stoves to draft properly.
People try all sorts of tricks to get the stove warmed up before they light the fire - if they don't it can work in reverse and force smoke into the house!
I'm curious - do you use any kindling with this method, or just rely on the charcoal and put large logs straight on top? If you are having trouble lighting normally without this your wood may not be properly seasoned. Unseasoned, or partially seasoned wood can be a real pain to get started.
All the best