book inc  –  journal  –  Writing My Way to Myself

Writing My Way to Myself

Novel Incubator writer Jaime Vander Velde describes her writing journey, from writing stories as a child to completing a novel.

By Jaime A. Vander Velde

July 25, 2022

I was one of those kids who was always writing a story. I’d write them on construction paper with pictures drawn in crayon. I’d read those stories to my stuffed animals, my dog, and occasionally my parents.

I majored in English and Psychology in college and did my graduate and doctoral work in Education, but stories never left me. For many years, I’ve taught writing in high school and always enjoyed giving feedback and writing alongside my students. Something, though, felt missing.

In March 2020, I was infected by COVID-19 and experienced serious long-term effects. I spent time improving my physical health by walking and my emotional health by meditating. And although I did improve, I still longed for more. I thought about how I wanted to live and what I wanted to accomplish. I was spurred on by completing Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and a six-month program about overcoming perfectionism, people-pleasing, and codependency.

Then, through a series of fortunate events, I was connected to Project Write Now‘s Teachers Writing Collaborative, and, ultimately, to book inc. I asked myself: “If not now, when?” I signed up for the Novel Incubator and began my book-writing journey. Has it been easy? No. Finding writing time in an already packed schedule has been tough. Am I happy I did it? Absolutely. I’m grateful that I’m well on my way to completing the first draft of my novel and am pleased my inner child is creating again.

Jaime Vander Velde is currently working on a novel in book inc’s Novel Incubator program. She is a teacher, amateur genealogist, and writer. Jaime lives in the wilds of suburban Monmouth County, NJ.