top of page

The "Spice Rack Theory of Creativity":

- A term Richtel uses to explain the creative inputs already within all of us.

DarknessMatt Richtel
00:00 / 04:12



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? This is the story of how we create.

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. Richtel argues we are at a watershed moment of creativity and there’s never been a better time than right now to get inspired.


Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Mariner Books (April 19, 2022)

ISBN-10: 0063025531

ISBN-13: 978-0063025530


"Consulting musicians, scientists, entrepreneurs, and other creatives, Richtel argues that creativity “is as natural as reproduction itself” and looks at ways to nurture it. Speaking with a Stanford scientist studying PTSD, the author finds that creativity requires feeling safe and that even low-level anxiety can disrupt the process, though focused breathing has been shown to help.... He examines the originality displayed by former U.S. chief justice John Marshall, NBA coach Steve Kerr, and even Jesus, concluding that curiosity and individuality are key components of creativity: “The secret ingredient to creativity is: you.” 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."

- Publisher's Weekly, STARRED Review

"A generous exploration of creativity that embraces its mysteries"

- Eric Weiner, Washington Post

“Illuminating. … Entertaining. … Inspiring. … An enthusiastic examination of the creative process."

- Kirkus Reviews

"Richtel harnesses his reporter’s eye for the human condition.”

- Washington Post

"Narrative nonfiction at its finest,"

- Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor

Richtel is a gifted story teller,"


Order Inspired
bottom of page