Louise Pentland on the therapeutic benefits of writing fiction for fun

·2-min read
Photo credit: Louise Pentland
Photo credit: Louise Pentland

That feeling when your fingers move like lightening across the keyboard, and you are totally lost in the story you’re creating - I love it!

It’s the ultimate escape from the humdrum, even if you’re writing about a character who lives in the humdrum (ha!) and is one of my favourite parts of my job. Don’t get me wrong, there are tough days and weeks where I doubt the whole book and wonder if I’m writing total drivel, but by the end, it usually comes good and I feel the urge to start the whole process again, building a new and wonderful fictional world.

My 6th book, ‘Time After Time’ was created through a concept I’d always wondered about… What would an adult conversation with my mum be like? It’s a question that has played on my mind for almost thirty years because sadly, she passed away when I was a child, and is one I will never have the answer to. Through the process of writing this book I loved playing with the idea of going back and having one last conversation with someone that could change your life forever.

Photo credit: Louise Pentland
Photo credit: Louise Pentland

Writing Tabitha’s story was a real joy. She is the first character that feels entirely her own, after Robin Wilde (from my first three novels) felt so similar to me. Tabitha starts off her journey, she thinks, quite happy. We as the reader can see all the red flags screaming at her and as she starts to see them too, you feel like you’re cheering her on, just like you would your own best friend, willing her to take control of her life.

There’s one scene, that I won’t spoil, where she sees the toxic relationship for what it really is and I was totally fist pumping for her. I think we’ve all been there in one way or another so I was smiling the whole chapter through as I wrote it. I hope you smile as you read it.

What would I say to any budding writers out there? Go for it! Even if you never show anyone, even if you don’t know where your piece is going right away, just start writing.

It is so therapeutic to allow your mind to delve deep into the world of your imagination, even when I talk about it now, I find myself smiling. It’s the only moment during my day, week, month, where I allow myself the freedom to think about nothing else but writing.

Once you overcome your writer’s block (which let’s be honest we all experience) and you find your flow, you really do have total freedom. It’s totally liberating and totally within your reach. Go on, grab your laptop and open a new page!

Time After Time is out now.

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