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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 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 building the material 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 things up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I steep fiction with that same fractal gumption of falling down a rabbit hole that we all knowledge when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress emotion into as few statements as is practicable not just on a sheet but something people are able to speak from a automobile at 50 miles an hour?

To this end I deliberately upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing routine. No more AM clock-based passivity, quietly awaiting messages that may or may not come depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of standing here appearing wistful for my pre-internet intelligence, I tried to figure out what my new psyche was becoming and how that affected my script. So if you ask me what is my usual letter day, I have no specific rebuttal, only a series of tendencies which together characterize my new writing normal.

One: I do often of my writing on airplanes. 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 disagreeable awarenes 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 dresses go back to the place from the Embassy function to do some late darknes C ++ coding.

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

Two: I do much of my writing in hotel rooms, especially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive territory and am now in the Saint petersburg W inn which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design alternatives perhaps constructed( in the highest possible feel) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn room most columnists know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones thinking. First you residence a scorched globe do-not-disturb on your email note( 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. Nobody reached among you. Youre safe.

Three: I write in places connected in definable ways to the forces of both globalisation and deglobalisation: Shanghai router-making facilities; Chilean classrooms taken over by protesting students, the rooms now converted into creators studios; the International House of Pancakes on the northern surface of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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