BOOKS: The Big Thing – Phyllis Korkki

BOOKS: Book review by Barbara Lloyd McMichael
How to stick your neck out and accomplish your Big Thing in 2017

The Big Thing – Phyllis Korkki
HarperCollins – 256 pp - $26.99

Those of us who make the same New Year’s resolutions every January 1 without ever reaching our goal will find a kindred spirit in Phyllis Korkki – and rekindled hope. 

A business journalist for the New York Times, Korkki had always wanted to write a book, but she’d never gotten around to actually sitting down and doing it. Finally, after allowing her project to gestate for – wait for it – four decades, a sense of urgency kicked in: there were more years in the rear view mirror than through the front windshield.

So Korkki finally knuckled down and wrote.

Now you can read all about her experience in “The Big Thing: How to Complete Your Creative Project Even If You’re a Lazy, Self-Doubting Procrastinator Like Me.”

How many of us are there who dream of tackling the Great American Novel, or the hand-made quilt, or the master bath remodel – but never get around to doing it?

For her book project, Korkki identified the components of the creative process and the common barriers that prevent us from achieving our goals. Then she set out to interview a wide array of people, from immigrant fashion designers to polar explorers to “slow-blooming” philanthropists, who have figured out ways to circumvent, outsmart, or ignore the excuses that get in the way of their ambition.

In an amiable, chatty style, Korkki acknowledges that there may be roadblocks aplenty. It might be risk aversion or a self-esteem issue that slows you down. Maybe it’s your day job or your family responsibilities. It could be lack of sleep, a substance dependency, money, or a myriad other things.

The point is, others have faced these obstacles, too, and have succeeded in spite of them. While “The Big Thing” does provide some pragmatic takeaways, it’s less a how-to manual than it is a sincere encouragement to you to develop your unique sense of purpose and activate your creativity.

Barbara Lloyd McMichael is our ground reporter in South King County, Wash., and author of the syndicated book review column “The Bookmonger.” Her PR for People® Book Review is written exclusively for The Connector. 


Barbara McMichael

Barbara Lloyd McMichael is based in the Pacific Northwest and writes about books and culture. She writes a syndicated weekly book review column called  “The Bookmonger” that focuses on Northwest books and authors. Her PR for People® Book Review is written exclusively for The Connector. 

Comments Join The Discussion