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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 calling a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and watched thousands of workers in robins egg blue-blooded jumpsuits building the equipment necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau motivated in me a gentle realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better sway things up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I steep fiction with that same fractal appreciation of falling down a rabbit hole that we all suffer when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress ardour into as few texts as is practicable not only on a sheet but something people are able to speak from a automobile at 50 km / hour?

To this end I purposely upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing routine. No more AM clock-based passivity, softly awaiting paroles that may or are not able to come is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of stay here with me feeling wistful for my pre-internet intelligence, I tried to figure out what my new mentality was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if “youre asking me” what is my typical writing date, I have no specific reaction, simply 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 a plane, and Im writing these terms on a plane right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distasteful wizard of soon-to-end Schengen-era statelessness the various kinds of transnational fluidity so accurately touted by Monocle magazine a headspace where all the men wear slim-fit attire and all the women in little black outfits go 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, specially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive property and am now in the Saint petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design picks perhaps drew( in the highest possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is now in a inn chamber most writers know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones recalling. First you situate 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 achieve you. Youre safe.

Three: I write in places connected in definable ways to the forces of both globalization 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 northern area of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and sudden the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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