Some very famous writers are quite famously not very good at procrastinating. Photo: iStock
Good morning. Oh, wait. Yes. Sorry. I meant good afternoon. And welcome to the Procrastination Masterclass. I'd like to thank those of you who made the effort to get here and ask you what you thought you were doing putting all that effort in when you could have been catching up on all the House of Cards episodes you haven't watched yet. Shame on you.
I'm JB and I will be your master for today's class. You might know me from some of the very interesting articles I failed to submit on time, or the amusing columns I never got around to writing at all. I have not published more than a dozen books which I'm sure would have been very popular, and some of which were undoubtedly a lay down misere to not win some quite prestigious awards had they been written, which they weren't.
Some very famous writers are quite famously not very good at procrastinating. Stephen King's work ethic is so strong that he was able to turn in manuscripts even at his lowest ebb as a drunken coke-addled wastrel, and he was hit by a car and run over! Congratulations on taking the first steps out of the path of the on-rushing car that might have run you over had you not decided to take my class. I have all of your home addresses from the enrolment forms, so it was a very real possibility.
By the end of this class you will be qualified to say that you have attended my class, and you will not have been run over. To streamline the mastering process I will now dot point the following points I wish to cover.
❏ Must write out dot point list. That's as far as I was able to get before Netflix released House of Cards' second season in binge-ready format. Please note that I do intend to get around to watching it after I've flicked through the new Star Trek comic where all of the original Enterprise crew are chicks, except for the chicks like who are now guys.
I do have a PowerPoint, however. It is unrelated to the topic and a small child still in primary school made it for me, so it's not very good. But it does have some very funny pictures from the internet.
Let's spend an hour looking at that.
Welcome back, and as for the dot point rundown of today's class, I would strongly suggest you take notes, unless you've already moved on to doodling flip-book pictures of exploding German tanks in the corner your new Moleskine notebook. In which case, props to you and there will be extra credit if your explosions are in colour. I will review your work, the night before my next newspaper column is due, but you are almost certainly ready to graduate to my Advanced Masterclass on choosing the right pen for your new Moleskine notebook. Four out of five writers in cafes haven't taken this class, which goes to show how advanced and elite it is. The other one out of those five would have totally taken the class but may have lost the initial email alerting them to it, and then accidentally blocked all my subsequent marketing emails.
I see from the excruciatingly slow sweep of the minute hand and the ticking of the overloud clock at the back of the room that we haven't even started the actual class yet, which means it's time for coffee. Or breakfast gin, for those full-time professional writers among us. Breakfast is the most important meal for the professional writer, commanding the approaches to morning tea time, as it does, and thus being strategically placed to flow naturally into lunch and dinner. And a professional writer sans breakfast gin is little better than a blogger.
Allow me at this point to make my apologies to all the bloggers who have enrolled for today's Masterclass and paid up front. Your money is very important to me. Even more so now that it's become my money. There will be a module dealing specifically with the challenges of online time wasting for online writing professionals such as yourselves. It is scheduled to be available in the first half of 2016 and I look forward to seeing more of your money then when I actually run the class in 2018.
In the meantime, I encourage you all to follow me on Twitter, which allows me to segue into talking about Twitter. Arguably there is no more powerful tool in the hands of the master procrastinator than this premier microblogging service because the guy who invented Flappy Bird took it off the app store. I don't propose to discuss the relative merits of Twitter versus Facebook because I can get another seminar out of that, and if I use the words ''premium'' and ''marketing'' and ''brand'' and I call myself a ninja I can charge even more for it.
I can see we're coming to the end of this masterclass column, however, and before we get anything done I'd like to return to the topic of that Star Trek comic, because it seems to me there's something wrong when all the sexy Star Trek ladies (like Captain Jane Kirk, geddit?) are wearing pants which isn't true to the original series at all and probably deserves a blog entry. I will write that blog entry. Tomorrow.