Writer Alice Vincent joins I am. I have to talk about writing, growing a community and learning to see change in a different light
Rootbound: Rewilding A Life is the second book from writer Alice Vincent and it’s beautiful. Combining Alice’s life experiences with botanical history and musings on the natural world, it examines “how bringing a little bit of the outside in can help us find our feet in a world spinning far too fast.”
Although Alice has been a journalist for over 10 years, she shares on
I am. I have that it's taken her some time to fully claim the title of writer.
“It was only after I started my creative practice, which led me to write the book, that I started to realise that my work wasn’t just journalism,” Alice says. “I was writing to express myself, to think and discover things. So now, I can finally feel confident in saying 'I am a writer.’”
Alice shares that Rootbound is: “about plants and finding the need for nature when your life doesn’t work out how you think it might, or should do.
“It follows a year in my life when I thought everything was going great and then one by one different bits of it fell apart," she explains. “I had a major break up, I ended up having to leave the home that I’d bought, my satisfaction with the job I’d always wanted was low and at the same time I got really into gardening and plants. That was the only thing that really calmed me down in a way that I’d never been able to access before.”
Alice became obsessed with horticulture and finding things growing in the city, which was the catalyst for creating a newsletter about little moments of joy she found in the natural world.
“That was the first time I’d written something that I had an overwhelming positive response for, and after about a year it became apparent that this was a story I could tell.”
Alice started the book’s development process by meeting with friends, who were also writers, in a local pub. They met regularly, sharing their work to keep their mutual momentum going, and so the concept of Rootbound was born.
Alice drew on the support of another community too, one she created online. Her instagram account Noughticulture, was key to the writing process, and shared her thoughts on its regular newsletter, which she describes as: “a boiled down version of the things that interest me, predominantly growing plants but also writing practise as well.”
“I found the most incredible and supportive community through instagram,” she says. “I’ve made a lot of friends through that world.”
I found the most incredible and supportive community. I’ve made a lot of friends through that world.
Alice also reflects on the end of her relationship which was, in part, the catalyst for a new writing direction and view on life.
“I was thrust into a moment of change, and you have to cope with it because life carries on,” she offers. “I daresay that coming out of that would have made me a stronger person regardless, but also witnessing it alongside this kind of self-directed study of horticulture, and seeing that nature changes all the time and that plants continue to adapt and grow regardless...
“Life is more complicated than an analogy,” Alice continues. “But the combination of getting through that and realising things had to change and watching it happen in the natural world was reassuring.
“It made me realise that if something unexpected should happen again, maybe it’s because something needed to change.”