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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 disciplined morning novelist, but in the spring of 2010 I was inspecting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and watched thousands of workers in robins egg blue-blooded jumpsuits building the equipment are required to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau spurred in me a gentle realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake happens up creatively to keep pace with it.

I requested myself a few questions: how can I imbue myth with that same fractal feel of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is experience when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress passion into as few statements as is practicable not only on a sheet but something people are able to read from a auto at 50 miles an hour?

To this end I purposely upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing procedure. 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 standing here seeming wistful for my pre-internet brain, I tried to figure out what my brand-new intelligence was becoming and how that affected my pen. So if you ask me what is my typical create day, I have no specific rebuttal, just a series of tendencies which together define my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on planes. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on an aircraft, and Im writing these statements on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not unpleasant 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 clothe and all the women in little pitch-black gowns go back to the bureau from the Embassy function to do some late nighttime 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 much 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 picks perhaps drew( in the highest possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a hotel chamber most scribes know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones remembering. First you target a scorched earth do-not-disturb on your email account( 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 chambers now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north side of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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