Met with Valerie Casselton on February 19th, 2018. Meeting 2.
Valerie met me at 3:00 pm outside of her office and we went to get a coffee. Our meeting lasted about an hour and the main points we covered included financial support for my writing and connections/meetings with people with experience. Valerie began by asking what classes I was taking and suggested I talk to my creative writing professors about how best to establish a lifestyle that allows me to write the way I want to. She pressed me about my commitment to writing and we discussed back up plans, namely lifeguarding and work for environmentally focussed causes like fishing, forestry etc. We finished off by agreeing that finances, extra energy and free time are the key factors that will determine how much I am able to write.
Next we talked about organizing conversations with other people whose experiences might be of benefit to me. Valerie mentioned a woman who developed her own publishing house, an author/historian living in Victoria, an environmental journalist that works for PostMedia and others. I mentioned John Vaillant, who I interviewed a year ago, and Valerie said that following up with him would be a good idea too. She stressed the importance of “cold calling” people that have information which could help me, be they established authors, publishing house CEOs or other related professions.
Valerie and I briefly discussed the importance of having a circle of peers to rely on for support or exchange ideas with. We also talked about the merits and perils of online publishing, self publishing and social media presence. Overall she was extremely supportive and made me feel like I was making wise decisions about the foundational establishment of what I hope will become a long term passion.