Before my first child was born, I told my OB/GYN that I was concerned I was a good strong candidate for some hardcore postpartum depression. She referred me to a therapist and suggested I see her before the birth so I could start working on coping strategies before the big event.
I spent three sessions of an hour each complaining about my mother-in-law.
Now, a good therapist–which she was not–would have read between the lines and addressed my issues with expressing emotion and how having a child was scary for me because it came alone with BIG EMOTIONS that I didn’t feel prepared for. My mother-in-law is a frequent expresser of emotions, you see. I did explain that. I did explain a lot of things. But when I said, “I don’t really think these sessions are helping me,” she said, “Well, you managed to fill the hour well enough.”
Let’s skip past the obviousness of her ineptitude and touch upon the most relevant nugget of wisdom for a busy person trying to fulfill a word quota for a Camp Nano project:
If you’re a good enough complainer, you can fill several hours–or several thousand pages–just with that. The good stuff, we’ll leave for next month when the pressure to perform is off.
Also, writing is my best therapy. It doesn’t always make for great copy but it does force me to express and examine my issues several times over. And it’s free.