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

I used to be a disciplined morning scribe, but in the spring of 2010 I was inspecting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and witnessed thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits improving the paraphernalium necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau motivated in me a gentle realisation that the world was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake happens up creatively to keep pace with it.

I asked myself a few questions: how can I steep fiction 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 constrict emotion into as few terms as possible not only on a sheet but something people can read from a car at 50 km / hour?

To this end I purposely upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing procedure. No more AM clock-based passivity, calmly awaiting terms that are able to or may not come depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of stay here with me feeling wistful for my pre-internet psyche, I tried to figure out what my new psyche was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if you ask me what is my typical writing epoch, I have no specific react, merely a series of tendencies which together define my 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 Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distasteful excitement 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 pitch-black garments “re going back to the” bureau 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 developed ice cubes .

Two: I do much of my writing in hotel rooms, specially 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 choices possibly obligated( in the highest possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a hotel room most novelists know this implicitly that frees up ones considering. First you situate a scorched globe do-not-disturb on your email chronicle( 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 affirming 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 surprising the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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