Inspired: Understanding Creativity: A Journey Through Art, Science, and the Soul (Hardcover)
Porchlight Business Book Award Winner (Innovation & Creativity)
"Unpacks the myths and mysteries of the creative process." —Salon
From the Pulitzer-winning New York Times science reporter acclaimed for “bring[ing] scientific concepts to life” (Bill Gates), a pathbreaking new investigation of human creativity
How does creativity work? Where does inspiration come from? What are the secrets of our most revered creators? How can we maximize our creative potential?
Creativity defines the human experience. It sparks achievement and innovation in art, science, technology, business, sports, and virtually every activity. It has fueled human progress on a global level, but it equally is the source of profound personal satisfaction for individual creators. And yet the origins of creative inspiration and the methods by which great creators tap into it have long been a source of mystery, spoken of in esoteric terms, our rational understanding shrouded in complex jargon. Until now.
Inspired is a book about the science of creativity, distilling an explosion of exciting new research from across the world. Through narrative storytelling, Richtel marries these findings with timeless insight from some of the world’s great creators as he deconstructs the authentic nature of creativity, its biological and evolutionary origins, its deep connection to religion and spirituality, the way it bubbles in each of us, urgent and essential, waiting to be tapped.
Many of the questions Richtel addresses are practical: What are the traits of successful creators? Under which conditions does creativity thrive? How can we move past creative blocks? The ultimate message of Inspired is that creativity is more accessible than many might imagine, as necessary, beautiful, and fulfilling as any essential part of human nature.
Matt Richtel is a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter and bestselling nonfiction and mystery author. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Meredith, a neurologist, and their two children. In his spare time, he plays tennis and piano and writes (not very good) songs. Visit him online at www.mattrichtel.wordpress.com.
“Engaging and lively. … Crisp, conversational and at times darned funny. … What distinguishes Inspired is its expansive range and conversational tone, as well as Richtel’s ability to synthesize a lot of complex research, simplifying without oversimplifying.” — Washington Post
"Remarkable. ... At once conversational and intellectual, Richtel’s lucid writing and intensive research showcase the many facets and manifestations of creativity. This profound and at times whimsical volume informs and inspires." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Argues that creativity ‘is as natural as reproduction itself’ while exploring its evolutionary origins, examining its science and providing insight from notable creative types.” — New York Times Book Review
“Illuminating. … Entertaining. … Inspiring. … An enthusiastic examination of the creative process.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Inspired makes the convincing case that true creativity spans industries, movements, and endeavors.” — Scientific American
"The Pulitzer-winning author unpacks the myths and mysteries of the creative process, and shows the research that proves why it's not just the 'Big C' geniuses who can tap into it." — Salon
"Allowed freedom, Inspired reminds us that a curious mind is an unstoppable force and cause for celebration." — 48 Hills