Shonda Rhimes: My year of saying yes to everything
Shonda Rhimes - Writer and producer
With the runaway success of shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes has become one of Hollywood’s most powerful icons. Full bio
to all the things that scared me.
took me out of my comfort zone,
the thing that scared me
my social anxiety, poof, gone.
in the most profound way,
from my toddler.
Harper, Beckett and Emerson,
refers to everyone as "honey."
for my sippy cup."
to play with her one evening
and I said, "Yes."
of a new way of life for my family.
asks me to play,
or where I'm going,
but I try hard to practice it.
that I fully understood it,
to playing with my children
would call a dream job.
I make stuff up for a living.
I executive produce television.
a great deal of television.
70 hours of programming to the world.
70 hours of TV --
at a time, sometimes four.
that didn't exist before.
of network television
from three to six million dollars.
times four shows,
20 million dollars worth of television,
21 episodes of "Scandal,"
"How To Get Away With Murder,"
that's 70 hours of TV,
on Thursday night.
in 256 territories in 67 languages
are shows I personally created
so on top of everything else,
real quiet, creative time,
campfires burning all over the world.
think of when you hear the word "writer."
out there who work so hard,
or a country or a classroom
when I talk about working,
peck at a computer and imagine all day,
is not about dreaming.
all blood, all sweat, no tears.
when I'm deep in it,
building a nation out of thin air.
It is painting a canvas.
It is running a marathon.
at the same time.
and exhausting and exhilarating
and clinical and maternal
when the work gets good.
and that hum sounds like the open road,
when I try to explain the hum,
about the writing,
this buzz, this rush, this hum.
The hum is a drug.
The hum is light and air.
but strive for greatness at any cost.
I'm not built for failure,
to tell you I'm a titan,
I don't want to question it.
the more barriers broken,
the more history stares,
the marathon I'm running,
the high note, the hum,
are used to the truth
is a single working titan.
but you can text my nanny."
I'm wanting to go to ShondaLand."
when the hum stopped.
I couldn't restart the engine.
I always did, all the same titan work,
straight through the weekends,
a titan never sleeps, a titan never quits,
three shows in production at a time,
three shows in production at a time ...
take home to your mother.
and I was no longer having any fun.
starts to taste like dust?
stupid writer titan lady."
if you love what you do,
being a mother, being a painter,
and that gives you the hum,
if you have been to the hum,
can I survive in the silence?
asks me a question.
I'm late, and she says,
when I realize two things.
to say yes to everything,
didn't call me "honey."
and mourning my hum,
right before my eyes.
from the book Everybody Poops.
the marathon I'm running,
the high note does not exist.
and tiny voices and crayons
needs to let go of.
that I can barely breathe.
but it happens, it does happen.
very still to hear it, but it is there.
a very magical secret.
the hum of the titan,
and how globally badass my brain is,
and the hum is not work-specific.
that comes from being excited by life.
and the expectation, and the pressure.
the wrong words,
was telling me I was the titan?
of my workaholic guilt.
the way I'm interested in doing work.
and humiliating to face.
because I like working.
than I like being at home.
is incredibly difficult to handle,
likes working more than being at home?
I call myself a titan.
isn't that I am too relaxed.
up and back and up and back.
and confused most of the time.
and the hum of the universe fills me up.
in the first place.
your child asks you to play.
I'm an idiot in diamond shoes?
and you're not a Muppet.
you're that interesting.
only ever want to play with me
they want to do something else.
but it's 15 minutes.
I'm invisible after 15 minutes.
a 13-year-old to talk to me for 15 minutes
of uninterrupted time on my worst day.
You have to get dinner on the table.
But you can do 15 minutes.
they're my world,
feels more good than not good.
In fact, I fail as often as I succeed,
staring into space.
for indulging myself
the time I got my first TV show,
I became a titan-in-training,
competing with myself for ways unknown.
with giving myself my full attention
possible for the hum to return,
could only refuel while I was away.
but after a few months,
standing in my office
full on groove inside me,
spinning with ideas,
and I can drive it and drive it,
but I don't love that hum.
and dinners with friends.
it is just no longer all of me,
about being a titan,
play Red Rover, Red Rover.
and somehow I still run my world.
My campfires still burn.
and the happier my kids are.
the more I feel like a good mother.
the freer my mind becomes.
the marathon I'm running,
the high note, the hum, the hum,
the more I know who I am.
that's living the dream.
should be a little bit dreamy.
About the speaker:Shonda Rhimes - Writer and producer
With the runaway success of shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes has become one of Hollywood’s most powerful icons.
Why you should listen
When ABC kicked off its 2014 television season by devoting its Thursday night line-up to the Shondaland shows How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes -- already one of the most influential producers in Hollywood -- became arguably the single most powerful voice in television today. In 2015, ABC snapped up Rhimes’ latest series, The Catch. Shondaland shows have the special ability to capture both fan devotion and critical attention – she’s won everything from a Peabody Award to a People’s Choice Award.
Rhimes is known for her groundbreaking storytelling, her candor and humor in the face of her critics, and for never shying away from speaking her mind. She’s also known for her social media savvy, and fans of her shows basically own Twitter on Thursday nights. Her first book, Year of Yes, was published in November 2015.
Shonda Rhimes | Speaker | TED.com