Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Nov 10, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 311 pages
***AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER***

In this poignant, hilarious, and deeply intimate call to arms, Hollywood’s most powerful woman, the mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder reveals how saying YES changed her life—and how it can change yours too.

She’s the creator and producer of some of the most groundbreaking and audacious shows on television today: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder. Her iconic characters—Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Olivia Pope, Annalise Keating—live boldly and speak their minds. So who would suspect that Shonda Rhimes, the mega talent who owns Thursday night television (#TGIT), is an introvert? That she hired a publicist so she could avoid public appearances? That she hugged walls at splashy parties and suffered panic attacks before media interviews so severe she remembered nothing afterward?

Before her Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes was an expert at declining invitations others would leap to accept. With three children at home and three hit television shows on TV, it was easy to say that she was simply too busy. But in truth, she was also afraid. Afraid of cocktail party faux pas like chucking a chicken bone across a room; petrified of live television appearances where Shonda Rhimes could trip and fall and bleed out right there in front of a live studio audience; terrified of the difficult conversations that came so easily to her characters on-screen. In the before, Shonda’s introvert life revolved around burying herself in work, snuggling her children, and comforting herself with food.

And then, on Thanksgiving 2013, Shonda’s sister muttered something that was both a wake up and a call to arms: You never say yes to anything.

The comment sat like a grenade, until it detonated. Then Shonda, the youngest of six children from a supremely competitive family, knew she had to embrace the challenge: for one year, she would say YES to everything that scared her.

This poignant, intimate, and hilarious memoir explores Shonda’s life before her Year of Yes—from her nerdy, book-loving childhood creating imaginary friends to her devotion to creating television characters who reflected the world she saw around her (like Cristina Yang, whose ultimate goal wasn’t marriage, and Cyrus Beene, who is a Republican and gay). And it chronicles her life after her Year of Yes had begun—when Shonda forced herself out of the house and onto the stage, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and giving the Dartmouth Commencement speech; when she learned to say yes to her health, yes to play and she stepped out of the shadows and into the sun; when she learned to explore, empower, applaud, and love her truest self. Yes.

This wildly candid and compulsively readable book reveals how the mega talented Shonda Rhimes, an unexpected introvert, achieved badassery worthy of a Shondaland character. And how you can, too.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
9
4 stars
10
3 stars
4
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - readingover50 - LibraryThing

I have never watched Grey's Anatomy or Scandal, but I have heard of Shonda Rhimes. It is hard not to these days. I wanted to read this book because I like the idea of it. A year of saying yes to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - eraderneely - LibraryThing

Turns out that I love TV writers talking about themselves. Mindy Kaling, now Shonda Rhimes...TV writers are my kind of people. If you write for TV - assemble a memoir, narrate the audiobook, and just send it my way. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
13
Section 3
27
Section 4
36
Section 5
62
Section 6
92
Section 7
115
Section 8
132
Section 11
206
Section 12
209
Section 13
230
Section 14
241
Section 15
260
Section 16
287
Section 17
301
Section 18
308

Section 9
165
Section 10
174
Section 19
309
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

Shonda Rhimes is the critically acclaimed and award-winning creator and executive producer of the hit television series Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal and the executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder. Her writing credits also include Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement, Crossroads, and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Rhimes holds a BA from Dartmouth College in English Literature with Creative Writing and received her MFA from the USC School of Cinema-Television, where she was awarded the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship. Rhimes was born and raised outside of Chicago, Illinois, and now runs her production company, Shondaland, from Los Angeles, where she lives with her three daughters. She is the author of Year of Yes and The Year of Yes Journal.

Bibliographic information