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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 punishment morning novelist, but in the spring of 2010 I was inspecting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and evidenced thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits improving the paraphernalium are required to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau spurred in me a soothing realisation that the world was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake situations up creatively to keep pace with it.

I questioned myself a few questions: how can I imbue story with that same fractal sense of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is event when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I constrict spirit into as few words as is practicable not only on a page but something people can read from a automobile at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I intentionally upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing procedure. No more AM clock-based passivity, quietly awaiting texts that may or may not come is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there feeling nostalgic for my pre-internet intelligence, I tried to figure out what my brand-new psyche was becoming and how that affected my create. So if you ask me what is my usual publish date, I have no specific explanation, merely a series of tendencies which together define my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on planes. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on an aircraft, and Im writing these messages on a plane right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not unpleasant 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 dres and all the women in little black dress go back to the agency 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, 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 picks perhaps drew( in the highest possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn area most columnists know this implicitly that frees up ones thinking. First you place a scorched soil 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. Nothing can achieve 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 chambers now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north surface of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and surprising the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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