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Roxanne Reviews "Inspired"

Updated: Apr 5


Roxanne reviews Inspired: Understanding Creativity: A Journey Through Art, Science, and the Soul by Mark Richtel


Inspired by Matt Richtel may have a War and Peace length subtitle, but that’s in order to encapsulate all the factors that influence our individual creativity. And if you’re like me, post Covid has been especially challenging in rekindling creative fires. Our world has changed irrevocably and as a consequence, I’m sure I’m not alone in walking around in a somewhat cynical, nihilistic daze.


But Richtel came to the rescue! Richtel taps into past creative sages, Bob Dylan being one, who discounted politics or any agenda for his creative inspiration. He also addresses the definition of creation (novelty, value and surprise), with half of the book’s focus being a nature vs. nurture perspective. His take on forces outside of our control, from the bubonic plague to Covid, force renaissance like invigoration and lead to new avenues of success (think Tik Tok).


Best of all, Richtel reassures the reader that our expanding melting pot population is a help, not a hindrance, to creation. His straightforward optimism made me see writer’s block as a round problem by pointing out that our greatest roadblock is our expectation of instant perfection. Without trial (emphasis on day in day out practice) and error (aka failure), no one can climb the mountain of creativity.


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