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

I questioned myself a few questions: how can I steep story with that same fractal appreciation of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is knowledge when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I constrict emotion into as few messages as is practicable not only on a page but something people can read from a car 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 texts that may or is not able to returned depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of standing here detecting wistful for my pre-internet mentality, I tried to figure out what my new mentality was becoming and how that affected my penning. So if “youre asking me” what is my usual compose day, I have no specific refute, only 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 a plane, and Im writing these messages on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint 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 dres and all the women in little black dresses go back to the part from the Embassy function to do some late darknes C ++ coding.

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

Two: I do much of my writing in hotel rooms, specially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive landed and am now in the Saint petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design alternatives perhaps made( in the highest possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a inn chamber most novelists know this implicitly that frees up ones concluding. First you situate a scorched dirt do-not-disturb on your email chronicle( 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 globalisation and deglobalisation: Shanghai router-making facilities; Chilean classrooms taken over by asserting 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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