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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 disciplined morning novelist, 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 jumpsuits improving the equipment necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau induced in me a gentle 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 expected myself a few questions: how can I imbue fiction with that same fractal appreciation of falling down a rabbit hole that we all experience when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I squeeze ardour into as few terms as possible not just on a page but something people are able to speak from a automobile 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, calmly awaiting words that may or may not find depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there find nostalgic for my pre-internet psyche, I tried to figure out what my new intelligence was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if you ask me what is my typical writing day, I have no specific refute, 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 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 disagreeable hotshot 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 garment and all the women in little pitch-black garments go back to the office from the Embassy function to do some late nighttime C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of irrigate with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God developed ice cubes .

Two: I do often of my writing in hotel rooms, especially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive property and am now in the Saint petersburg W inn which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design selects maybe realized( in the highest possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a hotel chamber most scribes know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones fantasizing. First you residence a scorched land 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. None 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 affirming students, the areas now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the northern slope of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and surprising the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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