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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 penalty morning writer, but in the spring of 2010 I was visiting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and witnessed thousands of workers in robins egg blue-blooded jumpsuits building the paraphernalium 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 situations up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I steep myth with that same fractal gumption of falling down a rabbit hole that everyone is suffer when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I squeeze emotion into as few paroles as possible not just on a sheet but something people can speak from a gondola 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 messages that may or is not able to come depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of stay here with me feeling nostalgic for my pre-internet intelligence, I tried to figure out what my new brain was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if “youre asking me” what is my usual writing date, I have no specific explanation, merely a series of tendencies which together define my new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on airliners. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on an aircraft, and Im writing these paroles on a plane right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not unpleasant awarenes 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 dres and all the women in little black dresses “re going back to the” bureau 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 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 selections maybe attained( in the best possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn chamber most scribes know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones anticipating. First you place a scorched dirt 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 a plane. None 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 areas now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north side of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and sudden the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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