How a postcard changed Douglas Coupland's life

How a postcard changed Douglas Coupland's life

Things I Learned Along The Way — Huck's Fiftieth Anniversary Special collects lessons learned and creative advice from fifty of the most inspiring people we know. Each day we'll be sharing a new excerpt from the magazine. Today, Generation X author Douglas Coupland shares how he may never have embarked on a life as a writer if it wasn't for a random postcard.

#1 – Douglas Coupland

Author and artist Douglas Coupland never set out to be a writer. He may have penned fourteen books, including the epoch-defining Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, but it was only when a random postcard he had sent to a friend caught an editor’s eye that he considered the vocation. Communication is an art indeed. Coupland explains how a simple message ended up taking his life down a new path:

“I was in Japan in my twenties and there was no internet then. I was a really good postcard writer. I like stamps and I like the materiality of postcards. They’re real things. So I sent a lot of postcards. Who did I send it to? It was to the wife of my friend Don… I sent her the card and she put it on the fridge. They had a party – I don’t think people entertain at their home very much anymore – that used to happen more. And Mac Parry, who was editor of Vancouver Magazine, said, ‘Oh this guy should write for us.’ She said, ‘Oh! Doug’s not a writer!’ [He said] ‘Well I like his postcard.’ That’s how it started. Within eighteen months, I was writing Generation X in the desert. That was very quick once it happened.”

This is just a short excerpt from Huck’s Fiftieth Special, a collection of fifty personal stories from fifty inspiring lives. 

Grab a copy now to read all fifty stories in full. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss another issue.