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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 penalized 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 blue jumpsuits constructing the material are required 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 worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake stuffs up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I steep myth with that same fractal sense of falling down a rabbit hole that we all experience when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I tighten excitement into as few paroles as possible not just on a sheet but something people are able to speak from a gondola at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I deliberately upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing routine. No more AM clock-based passivity, softly awaiting texts that may or is not able to happened depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there seeming wistful for my pre-internet mentality, I tried to figure out what my brand-new mentality was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if you ask me what is my typical pen daytime, I have no specific explanation, precisely a series of tendencies which together characterize 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 texts on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not disagreeable wizard 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 garb and all the women in little pitch-black garments go back to the role from the Embassy function to do some late night C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of ocean with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God invented 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 property and am now in the St Petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design choices perhaps acquired( in the best possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn room most writers know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones thinking. First you place a scorched clay do-not-disturb on your email history( 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. Nothing can reach 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 rooms now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the northern line-up of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and sudden the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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