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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 punishment morning novelist, 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-blooded jumpsuits constructing the material necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau inspired in me a gentle realisation that the world was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake events up creatively to keep pace with it.

I asked myself a few questions: how can I steep myth with that same fractal feel of falling down a rabbit hole that we all know when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I squeeze passion into as few paroles as possible not only on a page but something people can read from a gondola at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I deliberately upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing procedure. No more AM clock-based passivity, quietly awaiting words that are able to or is not able to emanated is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there detecting wistful for my pre-internet brain, I tried to figure out what my new psyche was becoming and how that affected my publication. So if “youre asking me” what is my typical compose day, I have no specific reaction, exactly 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 terms on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not nasty sensation 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 clothe 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 water with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God fabricated 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 landed and am now in the Saint petersburg W inn which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design selections possibly saw( in the best possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a hotel area most novelists know this implicitly that frees up ones guessing. First you situate a scorched ground 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. None 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 artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north slope of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and surprising the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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