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

I requested myself a few questions: how can I steep myth with that same fractal sense of falling down a rabbit hole that we all knowledge when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I squeeze feeling into as few paroles as is practicable not only on a page but something people are able to read from a vehicle at 50 km / hour?

To this end I purposely upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing procedure. No more AM clock-based passivity, calmly awaiting statements that may or may not come is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there feeling wistful for my pre-internet psyche, I tried to figure out what my brand-new brain was becoming and how that affected my publish. So if “youre asking me” what is my typical draft date, I have no specific explanation, just a series of tendencies which together characterize 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 messages on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distressing whiz 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 bureau 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 invented 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 St Petersburg W inn which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design selects perhaps reached( in the best possible feel) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is now in a hotel room most novelists know this implicitly that frees up ones belief. First you situate a scorched soil 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. Nobody can achieve you. Youre safe.

Three: I write in places connected in definable ways to the forces of both the processes of globalization and deglobalisation: Shanghai router-making facilities; Chilean classrooms taken over by complaining students, the chambers now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the northern back of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unpredictable the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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