A Strange Malady: Idea OverloadJanet Fix
I suffer from a writer’s malady known as “idea overload.” The symptoms include an endless stream of ideas along with a limited capacity to see them through to completion. The disorder may be related to being denied chocolate chip cookies as a child, having the attention span of a flea, and an infatuation with Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie fame.
The ideas line up in my head like starving children waiting for a bowl of porridge. They just stand there staring at me like I’m a neglectful father, which to them I am. What they really want is some of my time and the opportunity to explain themselves to me. I tell them to wait in line …
There is no known psychological or pharmaceutical cure for idea overload; you live with it as best you can, like a strange birthmark.
Here are just a few of the stories swirling in my mind: a fictional case study of a young man who thinks he’s a werewolf; a screenplay called The Sex Tape about a discovered 8mm tape of a tryst between Marilyn Monroe and JFK; a short story of the trials and tribulations of an aging Playboy playmate living in Las Vegas …
The list goes on and on.
And then there are plenty of ideas that get discussed for the fun of it before being routinely discarded. Political comedian Peter Elfant and I were amusing ourselves one day with the idea of an imaginary 12-step program called “Liberals Anonymous.” I suggested that the first step should be, “We admitted we were powerless over Oprah, and our lives had become politically correct.” I posted the imaginary recovery program on Facebook and was inundated with requests for meeting information.
Of course, it helps to have a kick-ass editor along with understanding friends who say things like, “I love your writing” and “How’s your book coming along? Have you gotten anything published lately?” and “Are you going to write about me?” The answer to the last question is, “Probably not.”
In the final analysis, I’m just a boy who likes to fly around in his head and only comes back to earth when he wants something to eat … which brings us back to chocolate chip cookies.
Spero Alexio is a psychotherapist in Las Vegas. He is CEO and founder of Qtherapy, where he is involved in the research and treatment for addictive illnesses with a focus on the dynamics of relapse. Learn more about his therapies at www.Qtherapy.co, where you can also enjoy many powerful articles written by Spero on addiction and related subjects. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org