Hangout: Memoir writing with Damian Barr

Damian Barr

Damian Barr

When Damian Barr’s memoir Maggie & Me came out, it couldn’t have had more serendipitous timing. His story of the growing up amid hardships during the Thatcher years came out at the moment the Iron Lady died. Maggie O’Farrell called the book a “work of stealthy genius”; Diana Athill said, “It grips from beginning to end”.

Damian hung out and chatting memoir writing with BritMums cofounder Jennifer Howze along with Mari from Mari’s World (and BritMums blog editor), Karin from Cafe Bébé, Jacqueline from Best and Beyond, and Aimee from Pass the Gin. Some of the tidbits he shared with us:

* The importance of valuing what you’re doing and making time for it

* His experience on writing frankly about family and friends

* The process after the process: why finishing the book is just the first step

* Tending chickens as a procrastination tactic

Watch the video with Damian and the BritMums community for advice on writing

This autumn Damian is teaching a memoir Masterclass with The Guardian. He also runs the popular Shoreditch House Literary Salon and Reading Weekend, which supported by The School of Life. You can buy his book Maggie & Me in hardback and as an ebook.

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  1. 30 July 2013 / 19:59

    Loved the hangout and great advice from Damian about getting it down then reworking. Loved the audio on radio4 and now off to read it from the printed page.

  2. 04 August 2013 / 14:20

    Thanks for this, found it very useful. Will be buying the book!

  3. 11 August 2013 / 16:23

    Thanks guys; really useful interview. I’m writing a memoir at the moment! “Don’t get it right, get it written!” – very good advice, I liked it when he said to value what you are doing and treat it like a job. I also liked that he “wrote in the spirit of truth and love – not in an angry place.”