With a name that’s become synonymous with primetime TV, it’s seems unfathomable that there’s anything Shonda Rhimes couldn’t do. But 10 years after the launch of her hit series Grey’s Anatomy , the celebrated writer and producer is ready to set the record straight. In her first memoir, Year of Yes, Shonda gets real about her introverted nature, massive accomplishments and biggest fears.
Over the past decade, Shonda has earned numerous accolades (most notably a total of nine Emmys under the Shondaland umbrella, including an historic Best Actress win), become a mother of three and built a TV empire. After achieving huge success with shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder – and reinvigorating the careers of leading ladies Ellen Pompeo, Kerry Washington and Viola Davis – the network titan found her life in a rut. While everything may have appeared perfectly put together, she reveals that because of a deep-seated unhappiness and shy nature, she often found herself turning down public appearances and prestigious events, eventually leading to a life she no longer recognized.
Things changed for Shonda one Thanksgiving morning when her older sister casually chided the hitmaker’s hermit-like tendencies. Over the next year, Shonda’s renewed commitment to saying "yes" saw her take on a host of new opportunities, including events at the White House, a pre-taped appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and a 20-minute commencement speech at her Ivy League alma mater, Dartmouth College.
In the spirit of new beginnings, here are five of Shonda’s tips for your best year yet!