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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 writer, 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 equipment necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau induced in me a soothing realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake circumstances up creatively to keep pace with it.

I questioned myself a few questions: how can I steep myth with that same fractal gumption of falling down a rabbit hole that we all experience when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress ardour into as few messages as is practicable not just on a page but something people can speak from a auto at 50 km / hour?

To this end I purposely upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing routine. No more AM clock-based passivity, quietly awaiting words that may or may not called depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there feeling wistful for my pre-internet brain, I tried to figure out what my brand-new mentality was becoming and how that affected my compose. So if you ask me what is my typical copy period, I have no specific reaction, just a series of tendencies which together define my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on airplanes. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on an aircraft, and Im writing these terms on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distressing perception 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 garment and all the women in little pitch-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 ocean with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God developed 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 landed and am now in the Saint petersburg W inn which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design options possibly obliged( in the highest possible feel) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a inn area most columnists know this implicitly that frees up ones considering. First you target a scorched dirt do-not-disturb on your email account( 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. None 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 demonstrating students, the rooms now converted into masters 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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