Nothing is Wasted

Anne Janzer
3 min readJun 19, 2024

Writing lessons from the swimming pool

woman swimming laps in a school

I’ve recently started swimming laps for fitness. As I cycle back and forth, lulled with regular breathing and the peace of the water, my mind floats back to earlier versions of my swimming self.

  • The young girl learning to swim the length of the pool so she could earn a badge that let her use the pool in long, hot summer days.
  • A teenager swimming in a cold, bog-lined lake in northern Wisconsin on summer afternoons.
  • A mother-to-be relishing brief periods of weightlessness in a YMCA pool in the later months of pregnancy.

Each of those past swimmers shaped the swimmer I am today. I am all of them, and someone different, adding my extended life experiences and well-traveled body into the mix.

How does this apply to writing? Everything I write contributes to who I am, and will be, as a writer.

The same is true for you.

Nothing is wasted, in writing or life

Do you have any abandoned writing projects, unpublished novels or poems, or notebooks of writing sitting around, unused and unread? You’re not alone. We all do-from the distant or recent past.

We can either cling to past writings, or let them go and move on.



Anne Janzer

Author, Writing Coach, Unapologetic Nonfiction Geek. Writing about Writing Itself (very meta).