Neil Gaiman: The master of fantasy enjoys beekeeping in his spare time. How awesome is that!? Sylvia Plath was also into beekeeping.
Ernest Hemingway: The Nobel Prize-winning author loved spending time outdoors, hunting, and fishing. He went on several African safaris and was an accomplished deep sea fisherman.
Susan Dennard: The Truthwitch author unwinds by practicing martial arts:
“I was immediately hooked. Everyone was so nice! The class ranged from all ages—kids to grandmas, other UGA students to officers off the nearby army base. Best of all, no one was competing with each other. The whole karate philosophy was about competing with yourself. A “be better than you were last time” mentality.”She's also way into steampunk culture.
Madeleine L’Engle: Best known for A Wrinkle in Time, L’Engle would play the piano when she had writer's block:
"Playing the piano is for me a way of getting unstuck. If I’m stuck in life or in what I’m writing, if I can I sit down and play the piano. What it does is break the barrier that comes between the conscious and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind wants to take over and refuses to let the subconscious mind work, the intuition. So if I can play the piano, that will break the block, and my intuition will be free to give things up to my mind, my intellect. So it’s not just a hobby. It’s a joy."
Ransom Riggs: He unwinds by collecting creepy vintage photos:
"I have an unusual hobby: I collect other people’s pictures. The ones I love are old and orphaned and have found their way into flea markets or swap meets or into the hands of collectors. I have thousands, some of which have found their way into my books. Here are 18 that inspire me but have never been published."
Beatrix Potter: Potter was a successful breeder of sheep and well regarded for her work to protect the beautiful countryside she adored.
J.R.R Tolkien: When not writing, Tolkien invented new languages, many of which (e.g., Elvish) he used in his writing. He wrote songs and poems in his fictional languages. In addition, Tolkien worked to reconstruct and write in extinct languages like Medieval Welsh and Lombardic.
Agatha Christie: The British murder-mystery writer lived quite an adventurous life. She frequently accompanied her husband on his archeological digs.
Leo Tolstoy: The Russian writer was an avid chess player. He learned how to play as a young boy and recorded many of his games.
Ayn Ryad: Although she spent most of her time writing and promoting her philosophy of Objectivism, she was also a passionate stamp collector:
"I feel tired after a whole day of writing, I spend an hour with my stamp albums and it makes me able to resume writing for the rest of the evening. A stamp album is a miraculous brain-restorer.”~~~
If you're curious how I unwind, I cook. A lot. Primarily Mexican and Italian dishes. I just got a dehydrator and have been busy making fruit rolls, dry rubs, and homemade jerky. My specialty is baking desserts though. I have a major sweet tooth.