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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 scribe, 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 material necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau spurred in me a soothing realisation that the world was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake acts up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I imbue fiction with that same fractal feel of falling down a rabbit hole that we all knowledge when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I squeeze emotion into as few statements as is practicable not only on a page 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, calmly awaiting messages that may or may not come depending on the nature of the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of standing here experiencing nostalgic for my pre-internet mentality, I tried to figure out what my new mentality was becoming and how that affected my copy. So if you ask me what is my usual compose era, I have no specific react, exactly a series of tendencies which together define 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 statements on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not unpleasant whiz 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 attire and all the women in little black attires go back to the agency from the Embassy function to do some late nighttime C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of ocean 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 property and am now in the St Petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design selections perhaps cleared( in the highest possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a hotel area most writers know this implicitly that frees up ones fantasizing. First you residence a scorched ground 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 a plane. Nobody 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 areas now converted into masters studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north area of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unpredictable the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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