THE BIG THING by Phyllis Korkki


How to Complete Your Creative Project Even if You're a Lazy, Self-Doubting Procrastinator Like Me
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A New York Times business reporter shares her wisdom on creating and completing that elusive back-burner dream project.

Korkki’s debut, a crisply written meditation on goal achievement, was spurred by an ambitious article she’d written on deadlines. Though the overall process of penning the book was “rough and halting” and the idea had been gestating for decades, it evolved into a learning process for an author plagued by laziness, procrastination, and a barrage of distractions. She shares her personal journey through charming anecdotes and notes on preparatory self-care and via an extensive collective of interviews with psychotherapists, who coach aging adults on their goals; neuroscientists, who study cognitive decline in the middle-aged; dream-interpreting psychoanalysts; and a Jamaican reggae artist who recorded his first full-length album at age 65. Korkki also shares her own path of bringing the book to publication, including the climbing of a mountain with a Mayo Clinic physician. Naturally, she writes, a steely sense of focus, consistent motivation, commitment, and patience are key, but roadblocks like imperfection, self-doubt, and uncertainty are also very much a reality. “Each person who works on a Big Thing experiences limits that can be accepted and also harnessed,” writes Korkki. “Even if the limits seem to be negative, they can be transformed into something positive.” Hopeful and inspirational, the author profiles extraordinary people making their own aspirations a reality while battling addiction or physical and mental disabilities. The book is grounded in the cultivation of self-confidence and empowerment, and these elements are paramount particularly for an older generation wishing to leave a commemorative legacy in their wake (“the resolve of generativity”). With a supportive tone and gentle but insistent nudging, Korkki urges readers to creatively seize their own great endeavor as it can prove “one of the best ways to connect with the world.”

Insightful, encouraging, and universally practical.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-238430-0
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2016


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