Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Willie Nelson Reflects on 7 Decades of Songwriting in New Book

Willie Nelson Reflects on 7 Decades of Songwriting in New Book

After more than 70 years in the music industry, Willie Nelson is opening up about his life as a singer and songwriter in his new book, Energy Follows Thought.

While speaking to The Associated Press, Nelson spoke about the struggles he had with writing the new book. “The melodies are easier to write than the words,” he explained. The country music legend also pointed out that he didn’t even write the words down. “I have a theory, that if you can’t remember ‘em, it probably wasn’t that good.”

Willie Nelson also shared that prior to writing music, he wrote poetry. He spoke about the first poem he wrote when he was 6 years old. “My poem was, ‘What are you looking at me for? I ain’t got nothin to say, if you don’t like the looks of me, look some other way,’” he said. “That was the beginning.”

Willie officially kicked off his music career in 1956. Although he struggled for the first decade or so in the music industry, Nelson said that Patsy Cline helped him make it big. He wrote her song Crazy, which became a signature hit for her. “Because Patsy liked it, I was poor no longer,” he continued. “This particular Crazy convinced me, at a time when I wasn’t a hundred percent sure of my writing talent, that I’d be crazy to stop writing.” 

Among the other songs he’s written over the years are On the Road Again, Always on My Mind, Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys, and Funny How Time Slips Away. 

Willie Nelson Admits He Doesn’t Write As Much As He Used To 

Although he made a name for himself in the music business, Willie Nelson says he doesn’t write as much as he used to. 

“The ideas don’t come that quick,” Nelson said while speaking about his songwriting skills these days. “I still write now and then.” 

Willie Nelson did, however, write the song that shares the same title as his new book Energy Follows Thought. It was also on his 2022 album, A Beautiful Time. Along with the release of the book, Nelson will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Speaking about being inducted, Nelson shared, “You can get rock ‘n’ roll in country, rock and roll in any kind of music.”

Nelson’s Energy Follows Thought book will be hitting stores on Tuesday (October 31st).