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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 writer, but in the spring of 2010 I was calling a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and witnessed thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits constructing the material necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau stimulated in me a gentle realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better totter things up creatively to keep pace with it.

I questioned myself a few questions: how can I imbue myth 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 tighten passion into as few statements as is practicable not just on a page but something people can speak from a automobile at 50 km / hour?

To this end I intentionally upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing number. No more AM clock-based passivity, quietly awaiting statements 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 wistful for my pre-internet mentality, I tried to figure out what my brand-new psyche was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if “youre asking me” what is my usual writing epoch, 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 aircrafts. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on a plane, and Im writing these statements on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distasteful superstar 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 garment and all the women in little black dress go back to the role from the Embassy function to do some late night 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 territory and am now in the St Petersburg W inn which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design picks maybe stimulated( in the highest possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is now in a inn room most scribes know this implicitly that frees up ones belief. First you situate a scorched soil do-not-disturb on your email detail( 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 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 protesting students, the chambers now converted into creators studios; the International House of Pancakes on the northern surface of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and sudden the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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