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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 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 seeing a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and witnessed thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits constructing the material are required to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau caused in me a soothing realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake situations up creatively to keep pace with it.

I requested myself a few questions: how can I steep story with that same fractal sense of falling down a rabbit hole that we all know when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I constrict ardour into as few messages as possible not just on a sheet but something people can speak 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, quietly 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 intelligence, I tried to figure out what my brand-new intelligence was becoming and how that affected my write. So if you ask me what is my usual penning epoch, I have no specific reaction, just a series of tendencies which together define my 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 statements on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not disagreeable sensation 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 black dresses go back to the power 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 developed ice cubes .

Two: I do often 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 picks maybe attained( in the best possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a hotel chamber most writers know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones making. First you residence a scorched ground 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 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 affirming students, the chambers now converted into creators studios; the International House of Pancakes on the northern line-up of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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