Shonda Rhimes, the mastermind behind ABC's Thursday night lineup (Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, for starters), holds many powerhouse titles: screenwriter, director, executive producer, and single mom of three: Harper, 13, Emerson, 3, and Beckett, 2. Now she adds author to the list with Year of Yes, out November 10.
P: Year of Yes is about your decision to say "yes" to every opportunity for one year. How did this start?
SR: At Thanksgiving in 2013, I was fanaticizing about the invitations I received but wouldn't accept because I have three kids at home and shows to work on. My sister reminded me that my family is willing to help and I have the luxury to define my own hours at work. I decided to start saying "yes" to everything that scared me: speaking at Dartmouth, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Then it translated to other areas of my life. Now, every time one of my children asks, "Do you want to play?," I stop what I'm doing and say "Yes!"
P: What surprised you the most while writing the book?
SR: Saying "no" boxes you in. The fear of saying "yes" is much worse than doing whatever it was that was making you nervous.
P: What advice do you have for other busy moms?
SR: Give yourself permission to fail. The guilt that we place on ourselves as parents is tremendous. I feel like we are supposed to be setting examples of strength, power, joy, and excitement for our children. And it's been really lovely to embrace that mind-set both in how I'm parenting and in how I'm working.
Melissa Bykofsky is the Associate Articles Editor at Parents who covers millennial trends and pop-culture. Follow her on Twitter: @mbykofsky.