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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 interrupted 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 calling a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and witnessed thousands of workers in robins egg blue jumpsuits building the paraphernalium necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau motivated in me a gentle realisation that the world was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake happens up creatively to keep pace with it.

I asked myself a few questions: how can I imbue fiction with that same fractal feel of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is know when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress ardour into as few words 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, softly awaiting terms that are able to or may not gone is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there find wistful for my pre-internet psyche, I tried to figure out what my brand-new psyche was becoming and how that affected my draft. So if “youre asking me” what is my typical draft daytime, I have no specific answer, precisely a series of tendencies which together define my new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on airliners. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on an aircraft, and Im writing these paroles on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not unpleasant excitement 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 pitch-black dresses go back to the place 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 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 territory and am now in the St Petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design picks perhaps represented( in the highest possible feel) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a inn room most novelists know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones envisioning. First you residence a scorched earth do-not-disturb on your email detail( 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. Nobody 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 demonstrating students, the areas now converted into creators 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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