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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 penalized morning columnist, but in the spring of 2010 I was inspecting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and evidenced thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits building the paraphernalium necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau caused in me a gentle realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake things up creatively to keep pace with it.

I requested myself a few questions: how can I imbue myth with that same fractal gumption of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is suffer when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress passion into as few terms as possible not just on a page but something people are able to read 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, softly awaiting words that may or may not come depending on the nature of the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there feeling wistful for my pre-internet brain, I tried to figure out what my brand-new psyche was becoming and how that affected my penning. So if “youre asking me” what is my usual copy daytime, I have no specific react, exactly a series of tendencies which together define my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on aircrafts. 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 distasteful 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 clothing and all the women in little black garments go back to the bureau from the Embassy function to do some late night C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of liquid 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 landed and am now in the St Petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design selections possibly established( in the highest possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a inn room most writers know this implicitly that frees up ones envisaging. First you situate a scorched dirt 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. 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 affirming students, the areas now converted into masters studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north surface of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unpredictable the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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