Writers Inspiration: Being Creative in a Busy London Airport

Are Airports Really Able to Inspire Writers?

Many great writers have often been quoted as saying that they gain inspiration from the most unlikely of settings, whether that be cafes, beautiful landscapes or perhaps hectic airport concourses

Inspiration can come in many forms, frequently when you are least expecting it. Writers are able to open their eyes in an attempt to see the beauty in all things, and then effectively translate what they see into words that touch a range of emotions.

J.K. Rowling is known throughout the world for bringing to life one of the most iconic fictional characters, Harry Potter. But not many people know that she wrote the early manuscripts of her best-selling book series at a Scottish café called The Elephant House.

The Elephant house, edinburgh, J,K, Rowling, Writers inspiration

The Elephant House, Edinburgh

Essentially, the quiet ambiance of a coffee shop is the ideal setting for authors.

That’s why, for some, it may be difficult to fathom the fascination of novelists like Tony Parsons and Alain de Botton with crowded, regularly noisy establishments such as airports.

Tony Parsons, author and writer, gains inspiration from airports

Tony Parsons

Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton

Airports are these majestic institutions brimming with busy runways, packed waiting areas, and even congested parking spaces, but occasionally this is also where writers are able to find  their creative edge.

For instance, when it comes to airport parking, aside from investing millions on building new car parking bays, people love the convenient services that online companies now provide. To make things easier, when you now go online not only can you book a parking space from the comfort of your own home you can also now see the different classification of parking spaces available. For example, Parking4Less, a review aggregator from the UK, lists these classifications as on-airport, off-airport, meet & greet, and airport hotel with parking. Now years ago, you would never have considered that this would potentially feature in a novel but who knows what the future may hold.  This could, after all, be one of those key areas where the aforementioned artists find creativeness to come up with stories that would intrigue their readers.

Writers That Have Already Gained Inspiration from Airports

Tony Parsons wandered around the terminals of London’s busiest airport to get ideas for his book Departure: Seven Stories from Heathrow. During his week-long stay at an airport hotel, the acclaimed writer of best-selling novel, Man and Boy, talked to passengers and staff about their diverse experiences. As a result, Parsons got a firsthand account of the real emotions behind his work’s characters, their histories, and the journey that brought them to where they are.

London Airport

Could you gain inspiration from this airport? (credit: pixabay.com)

Alain de Botton, on the other hand, wrote A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary after learning about the stories of everyone involved. From chief executives to baggage handlers, pilots to parking attendants, Alain de Botton captured the essence of people who work tirelessly to make daily operations as smooth as it can be.

To many, airports are just city gateways that welcome or bid farewell to passengers. But for extraordinary people like Tony Parsons and Alain de Botton, these landing fields are perfect venues that feature the exaltation of a long-awaited hello, and the anguish of a painful goodbye.

Have you gained inspiration at an Airport?  Perhaps you are a writer who is in the middle of a novel that centers around a busy airport terminal.  If this is the case we would love to hear from you.  

Maybe you are an author that has gained inspiration from another unlikely location, if so, please leave a comment below and let us know more about you creative setting.

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