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

I used to be a punishment morning writer, but in the spring of 2010 I was seeing a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and witnessed thousands of workers in robins egg blue jumpsuits building the gear necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau spurred in me a gentle realisation that the world was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better sway things up creatively to keep pace with it.

I asked myself a few questions: how can I imbue fiction 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 terms as possible not only on a sheet but something people are able to speak from a gondola at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I deliberately upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing routine. No more AM clock-based passivity, calmly awaiting paroles that are able to or may not come is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of stay here with me feeling nostalgic for my pre-internet mentality, I tried to figure out what my new psyche was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if “youre asking me” what is my usual writing period, I have no specific rebuttal, merely 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 paroles on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to Saint petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not nasty 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 clothing and all the women in little black attires go back to the role from the Embassy function to do some late darknes C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of liquid 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 St Petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design selections maybe became( in the best possible appreciation) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn room most scribes know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones thinking. First you target a scorched ground do-not-disturb on your email note( 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. 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 complaining students, the rooms now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north line-up of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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