Dolly Parton isn’t just a songwriter. She grew up writing poetry, children’s stories, and stories with more… adult themes. Back in the 1960s and ’70s, she spoke about her writing hobby in various interviews. The “9 to 5” singer also spoke about her hope to be published one day.
Dolly Parton’s hobbies in 1967
In 1967, Parton’s career was just beginning to take off. She didn’t have a lot of time for hobbies. But when Music City News asked her what she liked to do for fun, she mentioned writing short stories and poetry.
“Everybody always asks me what my hobbies are,” she said, as recorded in the book Dolly on Dolly. “I really don’t have any special ones or anything outstanding other than I fish. I like to fish. And I write the short stories that I was talkin’ about before. And I write some poetry. And I do just a few things occasionally but nothin’ that I’m really hung up on. So you might say my hobbies are fishin’ and writin’ ’cause I really don’t have time for a real strict hobby by the time I do everything else. So that’s about the extent of my hobbies, too.”
The Queen of Country’s poetry and short stories
Though Parton wrote “a lot of poetry and some stories,” she “never did anything with ’em.” She mostly wrote to get “’em out of [her] system.” Still, she had dreams of someday publishing her writing.
“Well, someday I hope to publish some kind of little volume of my poetry and some short stories,” she said. “I like to write little children’s stories, so maybe I can have it published for my children. Just somethin’ to keep for them.”
In an interview the “Jolene” singer did with Rolling Stone in 1977, she spoke again about her writing hobby — this time mentioning the love stories she used to write as a teenager.
“I’ve written a lot of children’s stories, though,” she said. “I never show them to anybody—not till I get ready to publish ’em. I’ve got trunkfuls of things I’ve written. I’ve been writin’ poetry since I was in grammar school. When I was a teenager I wrote a lot of real hot and heavy love stories, I was just so horny myself.”
Dolly Parton’s books
Parton’s Rolling Stone interviewer suggested she should write a book about her life.
“I’m already doin’ that,” she said. “I’m gonna call the whole thing Blossom, ’cause I used to be called Blossom when I was little, which I think will be a great movie and the whole thing—you know, to blossom into this and blossom into somethin’ else.”
Parton never did publish a collection of short stories, poetry, or Blossom. But she did write two books: Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business and Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. Though she did admit that she only wrote the first book for the money.
She’s currently writing the story of her life as a Broadway musical. The title is still unannounced. Perhaps it’ll be called Blossom.