I think I’ve commented before on the risk that should my writing ever be liberated from the need to pay the mortgage by other means it might suffer from the lack of stimulation (it’s a risk, for the record, that I’m more than willing to take). I had a beautiful example of the sort of cross pollination that I’d miss a few weeks ago.
I am studying, unlikely though this may seem, for an accountancy qualification, and I’ve recently started a module that I know is going to be one of my least favourite – too much business theory, not enough numbers. Struggling to engage with the textbook, particularly given the insistent distraction of an idea I was kicking around for Michael Wombat’s current Anthology Club project, I found myself fitting the principles of strategic planning around the lives of my pirate crew. What would their mission statement be? What are their goals? To what extent is their strategy dictated by the internal resources available?
Well, childish though it may be, it worked. I started to take an interest in a subject that I’m not naturally inclined to take seriously, and I gradually dropped the piratical analogies – they’re not very helpful when you get on to market segmentation. Pirates don’t buy much toothpaste*. And then I reached this statement:
‘Unique resources are particularly valuable and an important source of competitive advantage.”
(BPP Learning Media)
… and, as I was getting tired and fretful and somewhat lacking in focus, I wondered about my pirate crew again, and what their unique resource might be, and I realised that it was Eskya. Now the rest of the crew haven’t necessarily worked this out (I very much doubt they’ve got an accountancy qualification between them), but more worryingly, I hadn’t either. You’re going to like Eskya, I hope – cynical, permanently amused, always in the thick of the fight but always a little aloof – but I hadn’t thought of him as my hero. I’d reserved that role, rather selfishly, for my narrator. She might get to keep it, and she might not … but either way, I certainly never expected to see her crew in a new light because of a textbook on business analysis.
*Oh gods. Oral hygiene. Yet another tangential aspect of Khyran civilisation with which to pointlessly distract myself .