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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 interrupted a 20 -year routine with a decision to embrace the unpredictable

I used to be a penalized morning scribe, but in the spring of 2010 I was calling a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and watched thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits building the material necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau induced in me a soothing realisation that the world was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake occasions up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I steep myth with that same fractal sense of falling down a rabbit hole that we all experience when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress passion into as few terms as possible not just on a sheet but something people are able to speak from a car at 50 miles an hour?

To this end I deliberately upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing number. No more AM clock-based passivity, quietly awaiting messages that may or may not come depending on the nature of the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there experiencing nostalgic for my pre-internet intelligence, I tried to figure out what my new psyche was becoming and how that affected my penning. So if you ask me what is my usual publication daytime, I have no specific rebuttal, merely 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 an aircraft, and Im writing these paroles on a plane right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not nasty perception of soon-to-end Schengen-era statelessness the kind of transnational fluidity so accurately touted by Monocle magazine a headspace where all the men wear slim-fit clothe and all the women in little pitch-black gowns go back to the place from the Embassy function to do some late night 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 hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design selects maybe acquired( in the highest possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a hotel area most writers know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones visualizing. First you residence a scorched clay do-not-disturb on your email accounting( 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 can reach 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 asserting students, the rooms now converted into masters studios; the International House of Pancakes on the northern line-up of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and surprising the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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