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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 punishment morning novelist, but in the spring of 2010 I was visiting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and evidenced thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits constructing 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 stuffs up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I steep story with that same fractal gumption of falling down a rabbit hole that we all knowledge when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I squeeze ardour into as few texts as is practicable not just on a sheet but something people can read from a auto at 50 miles per 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 are able to or may not arrived is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of standing here feeling nostalgic for my pre-internet mentality, I tried to figure out what my brand-new intelligence was becoming and how that affected my publish. So if “youre asking me” what is my typical pen epoch, I have no specific rebuttal, only a series of tendencies which together characterize 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 words on a plane right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not unpleasant awarenes 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 robe and all the women in little black garments go back to the power from the Embassy function to do some late nighttime C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of irrigate with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God fabricated ice cubes .

Two: I do much of my writing in hotel rooms, especially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive property and am now in the Saint petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design choices maybe realise( in the best possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a inn room most writers know this implicitly that frees up ones believing. First you residence a scorched ground do-not-disturb on your email note( 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. Nothing 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 complaining students, the rooms 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 surprising the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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