An Eagle’s Scream journalist who has published several previous articles in the paper is out of ideas. After a prolonged period of brainstorming and procrastination lasting over a month, a new idea for an article has not arrived. With a deadline looming, it is not known whether a new idea will come, and at press time calls to the journalist have not been returned.
Sources report that the journalist went to great lengths and research to prepare to write a new article, and to seek inspiration. He claims to have read every book in his house, and when he was done with that, he resorted to reading LEGO and IKEA instruction manuals. The journalist reports that he now knows everything. Unfortunately, he says, this abundance of knowledge has led to greater intellectual paralysis, as it became impossible to narrow down such a vast body of knowledge to a single subject.
Taking another approach, the journalist thought he might avail himself of story opportunities close at hand. A family of raccoons was living in his backyard, and he thought he might go undercover and live with them for a time, and write a wildlife piece. But his efforts to disguise himself with their scent was unsuccessful, and he also learned that raccoons are hostile. He left the experiment early with some minor injuries, and without enough information to flesh out a whole story.
Following that experience, the journalist attempted a few strategies he had heard of for generating ideas. He tried throwing spaghetti at the wall, and, when that failed, he cooked the spaghetti. This still didn’t net new ideas for articles, so he proceeded to try throwing other things at the wall, including multiple bottles of shampoo, a potted plant, an antique lamp, and two bowls of salad.
Next he tried spitballing. Reports from his neighbors indicate that he unleashed hundreds of them on passing cars and nearby houses. There had been a number of noise complaints following the spaghetti incident, so this may have been an act of revenge. He did not come up with a new idea through this process, but he did create angrier neighbors. Phone calls were made to his parents, and notes were left on cars.
The journalist also tried workshopping a few ideas, but the only feedback offered by the raccoon family was unintelligible hissing.
At this point, according to reports, the journalist only had a couple of days remaining to think of an idea, and, unable to deal with the stress effectively, he went into a phase of denial and procrastination. He became distracted by video games and text chains with friends, and our sources show that his screen time tripled in the crucial final days before the deadline.
When the inevitable could no longer be put off, the journalist forced himself to sit at his computer and write until he had something that he could file, no matter how thin or how desperate the subject. After reviewing his recent efforts and thinking through why they failed, according to the journalist, he suddenly had an insight. He came up with an idea that he believed could be one of the best articles this paper had ever published. His editors would be thrilled. However, his cat entered his room at that moment, and the relationship the journalist has with his cat is very, very special. He sat down on the floor to play with it and his thoughts wandered. He received a text message from a friend about the correct order to watch every Star Wars movie in, a subject he was eager to weigh in on. He then consulted his family about their own opinions on the matter. When all of that was done, the journalist later admitted, he had forgotten his big idea.
With no other options, the journalist remembered that exercise is said to “get the juices flowing” and “clear out the cobwebs.” With the deadline less than a day away, and believing there was nothing left to lose, he leaped into his parents’ ice-cold January swimming pool. Sources are not clear about what happened next, but it is thought that in the subsequent aquatic chaos the journalist bumped his head.
The journalist woke up in the hospital several hours later with a minor concussion. However, he felt great. In an interview, he claimed the bump on his head had done wonders for his memory and that he clearly recalled his big idea: he said he would write about [Editor’s note: This reporter has reached their word count limit.]