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The Ideas Lab Podcast

81 EpisodesProduced by John WilliamsWebsite

Welcome to the Ideas Lab Podcast, where you can learn from the world’s greatest creative and entrepreneurial minds to help you turn your ideas into original businesses, books and brands – because in a crowded world, it pays to stand out.Your host is John Williams, bestselling author of 'Screw Work L… read more


Damian Barr - Writer, salon leader, & literary ambassador for the Savoy, Damian Barr talks about the power of stories, how he chooses his creative projects and how to write a memoir #3

Writer, salon leader, & literary ambassador for the Savoy, Damian Barr talks about the power of stories, how he chooses his creative projects and how to write a memoir

Recorded in a suite at the Savoy Hotel itself on The Strand in London.

Join us on a fascinating, fun and emotional journey into the world of writing & books with Damian Barr; author, salon leader and Literary Ambassador to the Savoy Hotel in London.

From finding meaning in childhood memoirs to curating inspirational literary salons across the world, Damian shares his thoughts and insights on how he continues to follow his passions and write acclaimed books.

Episode Highlights:

"You want to feel like you're in conversation with that book, with an idea. Otherwise, you're just being shouted at."

 "...A hotel is supposed to be a home from home, and you can't live at home without books."

"...Do you really think Charles Dickens would have written all those books if he had Netflix and Twitter?"

"...You have to leave space for the reader. I think it's really important when you're telling a story to leave space for the reader."

"...You need to stop looking at Twitter, and you need to be there for your book and it involves saying no to all kinds of temptations in the world."

"...You can't be that aggressive in fiction or creative non-fiction. You have to let readers think, "actually I like this person or I don't like this person, or I think this happened, or I think that happened". You need to be a bit equivocal. I'm interested in doubt, right? People who are very certain, I find scary."

"[On the homophobic section 28 legislation of the 1980s]...Some people struggle to learn maths, homosexuality is a much more advanced skill."

"...Stories are my life. What am I without them? I don't want to live without them and I don't want other people to live without them. That's kind of my guiding mission."

"...Build in time for spontaneity. But I think that you do need to create these spaces otherwise time just gets used up."

"...You've got to make people feel valued, you've got to listen when they're telling you that you're getting something wrong, you've got to listen when they say to you this is what you want for me or I want for me."


Damian Barr FRSA is an award-winning writer, columnist, presenter and playwright and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is currently the Literary Ambassador for The Savoy Hotel in London and also hosts The Literary Salon.

Topics covered:
  • Why the Savoy wanted a Literary Ambassador and what it means to be one
  • The key to the success for the Literary Salon.
  • The power of the podcast.
  • How to sign a colostomy bag at a book launch!
    The benefits of being an independent organisation.
  • Damian’s memoir ‘Maggie and Me’ - hard truths and how they bring us together.
  • Advice on writing a memoir.
  • The blur between fiction and non-fiction.
  • The origins of his latest book - “You Will Be Safe Here”.
  • A chance meeting with Gerry Adams
  • How Damian got into a good-natured disagreement about cheese with the New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern.
  • So many projects! How to choose what to invest your time and energy into.
  • The importance of planned spontaneity.
  • The power of partnerships and being social
  • Just. Listen. More.

Get full references, links, videos clips and more in the shownotes here



Music provided by Argofox:
TheDiabolicalWaffle - My Wish

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