Productive ways for a writer to pass time in an airport
I seem to have spent a lot of my adult life waiting in airports. Although the overall amount of time is probably not that significant compared to the total minutes of my life, given my natural impatience, the minutes in the airports feel longer. But I have finally learned productive ways for a writer to pass the time while sitting in an airport lounge.
Watch people and identify two to four details that could be used to describe them. In his book On Writing, Stephen King said “good description consists of a few well-chosen details that will stand for everything else. In most cases, these details will be the first that come to mind.”
Watch mannerisms in the people around you. Think about what the mannerisms reveal about the person’s frame of mind, age, or situation. Think about how you can use that in your writing.
Eavesdrop. A favourite of mine, but do it subtly. Listen for figures of speech and phrases that differentiate one voice from another. Consider how you can use this in writing dialogue.
Read. Ray Bradbury gave this advice to writers: “Just write every day of your life. And read intensely.”
Write. If you can find a spot to set up your laptop or note pad, get to work. If the environment is too distracting to create new work, tackle some editing.
If wifi is available, complete outstanding research.
Talk to people around you. Everyone has an interesting story. You may discover a tidbit to use in your next story. You may learn something about your destination. Or you may simply have a pleasant conversation.
Lean back and daydream.
As an author I’ve never forgotten how to daydream. Neil Gaiman
If a writer is daydreaming, leave them be. They could be plotting their next great story. Graeme Roberts
Whatever you decide to do to pass your time in the airport, have a note pad and pen or note application on your mobile device handy, ready to jot down those descriptions, phrases, mannerisms, and ideas.
How do you pass time in an airport?