Writers Who Read: Encouragement and Guidance for 2021


The clock strikes midnight, resolutions are made and salutations are said for the new year. The first day of the next 365 always brings about a sense of hope, newness, and a yearning to do better than you did last year. Yet, sometimes we need a push in the right direction for accomplishing that growth. This step forward can come in various forms, such as speeches, TEDtalks, movies, and of course, books. Many books, fiction and nonfiction, have been written on topics, such as motivation, lifestyle advice, and new beginnings. As we start the next 12 months, consider these three books if you are looking for a change or just an extra dose of encouragement.

Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling

Well-known for her roles on The Office and The Mindy Project, Mindy Kaling has experienced it all. Broken into sections, readers are given heartwarming stories about Kaling’s journey throughout Hollywood, the realities of friendship, and life, in general. She shares realizations about America’s view on weight for women, how she doesn’t look like the typical Hollywood actress, and more. A New York Times #1 bestseller, Why Not Me? is guaranteed to provide laughs, life and career advice, and much more. This book follows Kaling’s first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, another collection of essays that offer motivation and encouragement to those who need it.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Just like Mindy Kaling, Shonda Rhimes is famous for creating hit-shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, as well as, producing How to Get Away with Murder. In her memoir, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person, Rhimes channels the one year she said “yes” to all the decisions that scared her introvert self. According to Rhimes, this awakening came at Thanksgiving when her sister stated that Rhimes “never said yes to anything.” She gives readers an inside look at what her life was like before the year of yes and what happened after the year of yes had started. The lessons Rhimes learned gave her adventures, confidence, and love for herself. The Washington Post calls the book “honest, raw, and revelatory” and the Chicago Tribune states that “she can help motivate even the most determined homebody to get out and try something new.” Here’s to your new year of yes and trying new things that get you out of your comfort zone. Adventure and opportunities are waiting for you – have fun!

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

You may be familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love; however, she continues to dish out guidance in her essay, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Calling all creative minds and readers alike! Big Magic centers around Gilbert’s perspective on creativity and drawing inspiration from those around you. She encourages people to be curious. In addition, she equips people with steps and approaches on how to face your fears and tackle your artistic dreams, whether it is writing a book, completing a project, or just adding more creativity to your everyday life. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is another must read book for the new year.

A new year may end much differently than it began. Yet, we can help determine which path our year may go through our actions and efforts. Don’t be afraid to hope and dream big for changes in 2021. With a little guidance, encouragement, and effort, anything can happen.


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