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

I used to be a trained morning columnist, but in the spring of 2010 I was inspecting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and witnessed thousands of workers in robins egg blue-blooded jumpsuits building the material are required to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international 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 thoughts up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I steep myth with that same fractal appreciation of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is experience when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress ardour into as few terms as possible not just on a page but something people can speak from a gondola 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 appearing nostalgic for my pre-internet brain, I tried to figure out what my new intelligence was becoming and how that affected my scrawl. So if you ask me what is my typical compose daytime, I have no specific reaction, merely a series of tendencies which together define my new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on aircrafts. 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 Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distressing sensation 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 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 fabricated ice cubes .

Two: I do often 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 selects maybe constituted( in the best possible feel) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a hotel chamber most writers know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones contemplating. First you residence a scorched earth do-not-disturb on your email report( 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. None 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 complaining students, the chambers 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 unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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