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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 penalized morning scribe, but in the spring of 2010 I was seeing a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and evidenced thousands of workers in robins egg blue jumpsuits improving the gear necessary to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new world order. This tableau prompted in me a soothing realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake happenings up creatively to keep pace with it.

I asked myself a few questions: how can I imbue myth with that same fractal gumption of falling down a rabbit hole that we all suffer when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I constrict excitement into as few terms as is practicable not just on a page but something people are able to read from a vehicle 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, calmly awaiting terms that may or may not see is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of standing here detecting nostalgic for my pre-internet brain, I tried to figure out what my brand-new brain was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if “youre asking me” what is my typical writing daylight, I have no specific rebuttal, precisely a series of tendencies which together define my new writing normal.

One: I do often of my writing on planes. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on an aircraft, and Im writing these words on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distressing agitation 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 garb and all the women in little black dresses go back to the power 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 fabricated ice cubes .

Two: I do often 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 constituted( in the best possible feel) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn room most columnists know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones seeing. First you situate a scorched globe do-not-disturb on your email account( 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 areas now converted into creators studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north slope of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and surprising the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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