Travel Delays Are Writing Opportunities: A People Watching Writing Prompt


It must be 3am in this shot. That’s about the only time I’ve seen one that empty.

Why is it that we pay more attention to other people when we travel? I’d like to think it’s because we’re exposed to people from more cultures – who dress and behave differently and pique our curiosity. But it’s probably only because we get stuck in airport terminals with nothing to do.

Wait. As writers, we always have something to do: write. (duh) If you’re traveling with your laptop, it’s a great opportunity to work on your current novel/short story/other project. But even if all you’re armed with is a piece of paper and a pen, you can still get some decent writing in.

And if you need a writing prompt, look around. The people watching writing prompt has never been easier. Most of the time, there’s a vast variety of people to choose from, and with the state of the world, the potential for conflict is limitless even if you’re only at a bus stop or a train station. See someone arguing with an attendant? Make it into a story. Get stuck listening to a screaming child? Make it into a story. Have a surprisingly fun conversation with a stranger?

You get the picture.

Make a habit of this, and it can change your perspective on delays. A layover, a late train, a broken-down bus – those are golden opportunities to write. Why waste them?


  1. Yes that’s nice idea, even this happens to me too, since I have been here on wordpress, I mostly spend my free time in reading n writing blogs, that’s the passion we must have as a writer & being a writer is skill in itself, thanks for sharing!

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