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Douglas Coupland:’ I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on an aircraft’

No more clock-based passivity from the novelist, who disrupted a 20 -year routine with a decision to embrace the unpredictable

I used to be a trained morning novelist, but in the spring of 2010 I was inspecting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and evidenced thousands of workers in robins egg blue jumpsuits constructing the gear are required to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau motivated in me a gentle realisation that the world was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake events up creatively to keep pace with it.

I asked myself a few questions: how can I imbue story with that same fractal appreciation of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is know when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress ardour into as few terms as is practicable not only on a page but something people are able to read from a auto at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I intentionally upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing number. No more AM clock-based passivity, softly awaiting terms that may or may not come depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of standing here find nostalgic for my pre-internet intelligence, I tried to figure out what my new psyche was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if you ask me what is my usual document daylight, I have no specific answer, merely a series of tendencies which together characterize my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do often of my writing on airliners. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on a plane, and Im writing these words on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distressing hotshot of soon-to-end Schengen-era statelessness the various kinds of transnational fluidity so accurately touted by Monocle magazine a headspace where all the men wear slim-fit robe and all the women in little pitch-black gowns go back to the agency from the Embassy function to do some late night C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of liquid with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God devised ice cubes .

Two: I do often of my writing in hotel rooms, specially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive territory and am now in the Saint petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design choices possibly manufactured( in the best possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn chamber most columnists know this implicitly that frees up ones recollecting. First you place a scorched ground do-not-disturb on your email detail( autoreply: Im dead and hence unable to reply to your email) and second, hide the mobile phone in the desk drawer and its almost as good as being on a plane. None can reach you. Youre safe.

Three: I write in places connected in definable ways to the forces of both the processes of globalization and deglobalisation: Shanghai router-making facilities; Chilean classrooms taken over by demonstrating students, the rooms now converted into masters studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north side of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and sudden the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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