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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 disciplined morning scribe, 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-blooded jumpsuits constructing the paraphernalium necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau caused in me a soothing realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake circumstances up creatively to keep pace with it.

I expected myself a few questions: how can I steep fiction with that same fractal feel of falling down a rabbit hole that we all experience when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I tighten ardour into as few paroles as possible not just on a page but something people are able to speak from a gondola at 50 km / hour?

To this end I deliberately upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing number. No more AM clock-based passivity, softly awaiting terms that may or may not meet depending on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of standing here appearing nostalgic for my pre-internet intelligence, 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 explanation, exactly a series of tendencies which together characterize my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on planes. 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 distasteful 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 garments go back to the agency from the Embassy function to do some late darknes 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, especially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive landed and am now in the Saint petersburg W hotel which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design selects possibly cleared( in the best possible feel) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about is available on a inn room most scribes know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones visualizing. First you situate a scorched dirt 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. None reached among 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 chambers now converted into masters studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north surface of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unexpected the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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