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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 interrupted a 20 -year routine with a decision to embrace the unpredictable

I used to be a trained morning novelist, but in the spring of 2010 I was calling a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and witnessed thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits constructing the material are required to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau prompted 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 asked myself a few questions: how can I imbue fiction with that same fractal appreciation of falling down a rabbit hole that we all know-how when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I constrict excitement into as few statements as is practicable not only on a page but something people can speak from a car at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I intentionally upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing number. No more AM clock-based passivity, softly awaiting paroles that may or may not come depending on the nature of the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of stay here with me feeling wistful for my pre-internet brain, I tried to figure out what my brand-new intelligence was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if you ask me what is my typical writing epoch, I have no specific react, exactly a series of tendencies which together characterize my new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on airliners. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on a plane, 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 distasteful superstar 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 garb and all the women in little black garments “re going back to the” agency from the Embassy function to do some late night C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of irrigate 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 Saint petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design options maybe cleared( in the highest possible sense) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a hotel area most writers know this implicitly that frees up ones recalling. First you target a scorched earth do-not-disturb on your email report( 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. Nobody can reach 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 asserting students, the rooms now converted into creators studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north area of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and sudden the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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