The Big Thing

  • by Phyllis Korkki
  • Narrated by Sandy Rustin
  • 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A New York Times business journalist explains why it's important for people to pursue big creative projects and identifies both the obstacles and the productive habits that emerge on the path to completion - including her own experience writing this book.
Whether it's the great American novel or a groundbreaking new app, many people want to create a Big Thing, but finding the motivation to get started, let alone complete the work, can be daunting. In The Big Thing, New York Times business writer and editor Phyllis Korkki combines real-life stories, science, and insights from her own experience to illuminate the factors that drive people to complete big creative projects - and the obstacles that threaten to derail success.
In the course of creating her own Big Thing - this book - Korkki explores the individual and collaborative projects of others: from memoirs, art installations, and musical works to theater productions, small businesses, and charities. She identifies the main aspects of a Big Thing, including meaningful goals, focus and effort, the difficulties posed by the demands of everyday life, and the high risk of failure and disappointment. Korkki also breaks down components of the creative process and the characteristics that define it and offers her thoughts on avoiding procrastination, staying motivated, scheduling a routine, and overcoming self-doubt and the restrictions of a day job.
Filled with inspiring stories, practical advice, and a refreshing dose of honesty, The Big Thing doesn't minimize the negative side of such pursuits - including the fact that big projects are hard to complete and raise difficult questions about one's self-worth.
Inspiring, wise, humorous, and good natured, The Big Thing is a meditation on the importance of self-expression and purpose.

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What the Critics Say

"Narrator Sandy Rustin, narrating with youthful intonation and conversational cadences, mirrors the author's vulnerability without diminishing the validity of her insights and experience.... More than any other audiobook on this type of procrastination, this one brings these dilemmas down to earth in a way that will give listeners new freedom to choose - and more energy to move forward with their lives." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent! A Must for All Creatives

Listening to this book was like someone entering my deepest doubts and disappointments for struggling to create and finish my big thing. It was a cathartic experience to listen and understand why big things can be so difficult yet remain irresistible to tackle. This book is for anyone looking to bring their inner artist to life. It will provide the motivation and support to keep you going to complete your big thing. Thank you Phyllis for finding a way to bring this inspiration to all of us artists. The reader is also excellent to listen to.
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- Karen

More memoir than self-help

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This is a strong memoir about someone writing a book, the book that you're reading. It details Phyllis's ups and downs, both as a writer and a person. Interspersed are stories of successful people. You get a ringside seat of Phyllis's struggles and successes as she writes the book that you are reading. Can her journey be motivation for yours? Perhaps.


What was most disappointing about Phyllis Korkki’s story?

Once I realized that that the book was a memoir I listened to it as such. Just the initial disappointment.


Which character – as performed by Sandy Rustin – was your favorite?

Sandy Rustin narrated very well - although she sounded quite young and the author is more mature.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Mostly curiosity - went along for the ride.


Any additional comments?

Can memoir be inspirational? If this is a yes for you then get this book. If you want more nuts and bolts of how to finish a major project you may want to pass.

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- Randy S. "Love to read and listen - not so good at sharing reviews"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-09-2016
  • Publisher: HarperAudio