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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 penalty morning scribe, but in the spring of 2010 I was seeing a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and evidenced thousands of workers in robins egg blue-blooded jumpsuits constructing the equipment necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international 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 acts up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I steep story with that same fractal gumption of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is event when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I tighten feeling into as few paroles as is practicable not just on a sheet but something people are able to speak from a gondola at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I purposely upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing procedure. 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 sitting there feeling nostalgic for my pre-internet mentality, I tried to figure out what my brand-new mentality was becoming and how that affected my copy. So if you ask me what is my typical writing daytime, I have no specific reaction, just a series of tendencies which together define my new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on aircrafts. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on a plane, and Im writing these words on a plane right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not nasty wizard 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 getups go back to the bureau from the Embassy function to do some late nighttime C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of liquid with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God devised 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 territory and am now in the St Petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design choices maybe cleared( in the best possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn room most novelists know this implicitly that frees up ones belief. First you target a scorched ground 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 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 affirming students, the areas now converted into masters studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north slope of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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