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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 penalty morning writer, 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 blue-blooded jumpsuits constructing the equipment 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 happenings up creatively to keep pace with it.

I requested myself a few questions: how can I steep story with that same fractal feel of falling down a rabbit hole that we all know-how when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I constrict feeling into as few statements as possible not just on a page 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 procedure. No more AM clock-based passivity, calmly awaiting words 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 brain, I tried to figure out what my brand-new brain was becoming and how that affected my scribble. So if “youre asking me” what is my typical publication epoch, I have no specific react, just a series of tendencies which together define my new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on airplanes. 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 Saint 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 apparel and all the women in little pitch-black garments go back to the place from the Embassy function to do some late nighttime C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of water 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 landed and am now in the Saint petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design options maybe reached( in the highest possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a hotel area most columnists know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones making. First you situate a scorched globe 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 a plane. None 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 asserting students, the rooms now converted into masters studios; the International House of Pancakes on the northern area of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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