How Shonda Rhimes Broke out of Her Shell and Committed to Saying Yes

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How Shonda Rhimes Broke out of Her Shell and Committed to Saying Yes –

NEW YORK  — Shonda Rhimes, who owns ABC’s Thursday night (with hit dramas “Grey’s Anatomy,” ”Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder”), had found comfort and refuge in ShondaLand, the dream factory she rules as a mega-producer and writer.

But otherwise she was a chronic naysayer, which spurred her sister to mutter as they cooked Thanksgiving dinner in 2013, “You never say yes to anything.”

This stinging rebuke led Rhimes to commit herself to a year of saying “yes” to whatever came her way.

For Rhimes, who describes herself back then as an introvert “to the bone,” this meant saying yes to speaking engagements and social invitations she would have turned down before.

But that was just the start.

“I feel like a different person,” Rhimes, 45, declared over tea Monday morning at a New York hotel.

A television titan who not long ago was legendary for shunning interviews and the media spotlight, she was relaxed and reflective as she shared with a reporter how “everybody asks: ‘What happened to you?’ I don’t know what to say, except that I had this weird, transformative experience and I feel like I’ve completely changed my life from top to bottom.”

This photo provided by Simpn and Schuster shows the cover of the book, "Year of Yes," by author Shonda Rhimes. (Simon and Schuster via AP)

Rhimes has chronicled this grand transformation — and helped explain it to herself — in her candid new memoir, “Year of Yes” (Simon & Schuster; $24.99).

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