Book Review: 'Year of Yes' says "no" to fear and discontent

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

A year wasn't enough time to say "yes" for author Shonda Rhimes.

Some days, you feel like you're in a 10-foot-deep rut; in the bookYear of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, you'll see how to get out.

With two babies and a "tween" at home, several mega-hit productions, and hundreds of employees on her payroll, writer-creator-producer Shonda Rhimes had ample reason for turning down requests. She was busy-and she was also terrified.

Rhimes is a private person, an introvert's introvert. She hated publicity and interviews, all of which scared her to the point of panic. "No" was a much safer word until, on Thanksgiving Day a few years ago, her sister said six words that set Rhimes back on her heels: "You never say yes to anything."

She then vowed to say "yes" to everything scary for one year.

Almost immediately, the universe sent her the first challenge: an invitation to speak at her alma mater's graduation. Next came an invitation to interview with Jimmy Kimmel and, said Rhimes when it was done, "I didn't die."

She said yes to those who inspired her.

She said yes to compliments.

She said yes to learning how to appropriately say no.

She said yes because, to her, saying yes means having courage.

With wisdom, wit and warmth, Rhimes takes readers on her year-plus-long journey, from "It's never going to get better" to a life of joy.

Because her TV creations are the dramas Scandal and Grey's Anatomy, you'll be surprised and delighted to find that Rhimes is a funny writer, too. Her experiences will make you think: Maybe you do need play. Maybe you do need to learn when "no" is appropriate. Maybe you do need aYear of Yes.

Year of Yes

Shonda Rhimes, Simon & Schuster

$24.99, 311 pages