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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 trained morning columnist, but in the spring of 2010 I was inspecting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and watched thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits building the gear are required 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 stuffs up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I imbue story with that same fractal appreciation of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is experience when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I squeeze ardour into as few messages as is practicable not just on a sheet but something people are able to read from a automobile 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, softly awaiting statements that may or may not come is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of stay here with me feeling nostalgic for my pre-internet psyche, I tried to figure out what my brand-new psyche was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if you ask me what is my usual print date, I have no specific answer, precisely a series of tendencies which together characterize 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 statements on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not unpleasant 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 garment and all the women in little black dress go back to the agency 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, especially 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 selects possibly moved( in the best possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn area most scribes know this implicitly that frees up ones feeling. First you residence a scorched earth do-not-disturb on your email note( 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. Nothing can reach 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 protesting students, the chambers now converted into creators studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north line-up of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unpredictable the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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