I must admit, I don't watch Shonda Rhimes' TV shows. She is
the creator and showrunner for "Grey's Anatomy" and
"Scandal" and "How to Get Away with Murder." They're all
very popular, but the subjects just never interested me.
I do like television, in general, and I love reading about
the creative process, so I was thrilled to have the chance
to read Rhimes book, YEAR OF YES. Turns out that it's less
about her creative process (though it does give some
insight) and more about how she pushed herself to overcome
her fears and change her life. It is fun and funny,
inspiring and hopeful, and maybe a little defensive in
places, but overall a very positive book.
The book starts with a snide comment from Rhimes' sister
about how she had these great opportunities as a superstar
TV producer and she never said yes to any of them. She
realized her sister was right and forced herself to examine
why she always turned down public appearances and
interviews. She challenged herself to say yes to everything
that scared her for one year.
She talks you through her terror at saying yes, how she
prepared for each event or interview or photo shoot. She
opens up about her family, her childhood, her influences,
her friends. She even explains the moment she realized that
some of her friends were just users.
Reading this book, it's hard to imagine that Shonda Rhimes
was ever anything but fearless. She comes across as strong,
self-confident, assured, and unwilling to fail. It makes you
realize that great women have all the same feelings you do,
they just get past it to get the job done.
The only thing that keeps me from saying this book is
absolutely perfect is that her writing gets a bit
repetitive. She'll go over the same thing three times before
she gets to the point, and then sometimes she'll say it
again. That's her style, but it made me want to shout, "Get
on with it!" a few times.
That said, this is a wonderful book for anyone who's a
little shy or introverted, who ever let an opportunity go by
because you were overly conscious of how you looked, afraid
of what you'd say or do that might embarrass yourself.
Shonda Rhimes said yes and found out things usually go a lot
better than you expect. You don't have to watch her #TGIT
shows, but I have a feeling if you do, you'll get even more
out of this telling book than I did.
The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and
Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away
With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year
changed her life―and how it can change yours,
With three hit shows on television and three
children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots
of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation
arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media
And there was the side-benefit of
saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to
Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge:
just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected
invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly
agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative.
In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful
impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and
can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.