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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 penalty morning writer, but in the spring of 2010 I was calling a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and evidenced thousands of workers in robins egg blue-blooded jumpsuits constructing the gear necessary 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 asked myself a few questions: how can I steep fiction with that same fractal appreciation of falling down a rabbit hole that we all know when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I tighten excitement into as few texts as is practicable not only on a sheet but something people can read from a car at 50 km / hour?

To this end I deliberately upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing routine. No more AM clock-based passivity, calmly awaiting words that may or is not able to reached depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there find wistful for my pre-internet brain, I tried to figure out what my new psyche was becoming and how that affected my author. So if “youre asking me” what is my typical letter date, I have no specific refute, only a series of tendencies which together define my brand-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 words on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distressing 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 robe and all the women in little 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 sea with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God developed 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 property and am now in the Saint petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design picks maybe manufactured( in the highest possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn area most novelists know this implicitly that frees up ones considering. First you place a scorched clay 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 protesting students, the areas now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north area of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and sudden the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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