Exclusive:Nicola Sturgeon: Writing my memoir has been very therapeutic - and one or two people will hate it

The former first minister has finished a first draft

Nicola Sturgeon has revealed how it felt "very therapeutic" writing her memoir – as she predicted that "one or two people" will hate it.

The former First Minister told an audience in Edinburgh that she had finally finished a first draft of the eagerly-awaited book after it proved much harder to write than she expected.

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However she said she ended up with almost double the number of words she was meant to produce for her publisher.

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon is due to publish a 'deeply personal and revealing' memoir in 2025. Picture: Greg MacveanFormer first minister Nicola Sturgeon is due to publish a 'deeply personal and revealing' memoir in 2025. Picture: Greg Macvean
Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon is due to publish a 'deeply personal and revealing' memoir in 2025. Picture: Greg Macvean

Ms Sturgeon also joked that there was “lots” of her first draft that would have to be removed for legal reasons, adding: “The legal process is going to be quite tricky.”

Speaking at an in-conversation event at Portobello Town Hall with the poets Michael Pedersen, Edinburgh University's current writer-in-residence, and Hollie McNish, Ms Sturgeon revealed that she could happily spend the rest of her life at book festivals.

She also admitted she felt "a lot cooler" since standing down as First Minister, as she had been able to enjoy more of a normal life.

Publisher Pan Macmillan announced that it had snapped up Ms Sturgeon’s memoir last August – less than six months after she announced she was stepping down as First Minister.Due for publication in 2025, the as-yet-untitled book is described as “a deeply personal and revealing memoir from one of Britain’s most significant political leaders of recent times.”

Speaking at the Portobello Town Hall event, she said: “I hate the term memoir. It sounds a bit grandiose for my liking. I suppose it’s the story of my life in politics.

"It’s been very therapeutic. Some people will love it, there’s one or two people who will hate it. I’m naming no names, but you can work it out for yourself.

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“I love books, I love reading. Writers have always been my rock stars. I love interviewing them at festivals.

"Writing, or trying to write, a book has given me even more respect for writers. I didn’t expect it to be easy, but it’s been a lot harder than I thought it would be.

“The first draft is done now, although it’s almost double the length that the book needs to be.

“There’s a bit about my younger life, which I think I’ve come to the conclusion wasn’t that interesting, so maybe we’ll chop that bit out.

“I used to write a speech and sit with advisors who would say: ‘I think you should take that bit out.’ I’d fight tooth and nail, then get to the point where I’d realise they were right. I think it’ll be like that with the book as well.”

Publicity material for Ms Sturgeon's book states: “It will detail her interactions with a range of notable figures, giving her unique in-the-room perspective on the most eventful and tumultuous era in modern Scottish and British politics.”

Ms Sturgeon said: "I’m very aware there’s lots of things that have happened in my time in politics that I think are really interesting. But I’m probably the only person on the planet that thinks that. These kind of things are going to have to be wrestled out of it.”

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Ms Sturgeon will make two appearances at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this summer, interviewing the Booker Prize-winning Irish author Paul Lynch and the English novelist Naomi Alderman.

She told the audience in Portobello how she was also hoping to see Edinburgh singer Shirley Manson’s indie-rock band Garbage in concert in the city next month.

She added: “I’ve become a lot cooler since I was First Minister although, to be honest, that wouldn’t be hard.”