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Douglas Coupland:’ I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on a plane’

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 penalized morning novelist, but in the spring of 2010 I was seeing a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and evidenced thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits building the equipment necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau motivated in me a gentle realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake concepts up creatively to keep pace with it.

I requested myself a few questions: how can I imbue fiction with that same fractal gumption of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is suffer when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I constrict feeling into as few messages as is practicable not just on a sheet but something people can read from a vehicle at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I deliberately upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing routine. No more AM clock-based passivity, softly awaiting texts that may or may not come depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there seeming nostalgic for my pre-internet psyche, I tried to figure out what my brand-new brain was becoming and how that affected my scrawl. So if “youre asking me” what is my typical compose date, I have no specific answer, just a series of tendencies which together define my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on airliners. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on a plane, and Im writing these terms on a plane right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not disagreeable wizard 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 clothing and all the women in little black garbs go back to the place from the Embassy function to do some late darknes 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 landed and am now in the Saint petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design picks maybe attained( in the best possible sense) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a hotel area most columnists know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones envisioning. First you target a scorched land 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 an aircraft. None reached among 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 asserting students, the rooms now converted into masters studios; the International House of Pancakes on the northern area of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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