When you think about Thursday-night television, the term “Shondaland” probably comes to mind.
ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder” dominate the small screen, and Shonda Rhimes is the brain, heart and life of these successful shows. She’s the voice behind numerous characters that are considered bold, sometimes twisty – and fearless.
Rhimes’ stories are relatable. She writes what people feel, what they are afraid to say and what SHE is afraid to say.
She acknowledges that her world used to be a very small place. Rhimes loved the “hum” of a schedule that included writing and producing television shows, as well as raising her three daughters. As her celebrity grew, she became more aware of her lack of desire to be in the spotlight. She didn’t have the time, and the idea of speaking in front of a large audience scared her.
When her sister pointed out that she never said “yes” to any social events or publicity opportunities, Rhimes considered the magnitude of that statement. She decided to challenge her inner-introvert and say “yes” to any invitation that came her way. The results were transformative.
Instead of writing passionate narratives for her TV characters, Rhimes adopted their pluck and bold attitudes and attacked life with a new sense of purpose. She learned to accept compliments. She lost more than 100 pounds. She became a more creative writer.
Who knew that such a small word could have such a life-changing impact? By saying “yes,” she learned to dance it out and stand in the sun. Dr. Cristina Yang (a character on “Grey’s Anatomy”) would be so proud.
- “Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person” (Simon & Schuster), by Shonda Rhimes. $24.99