Thursday, January 26, 2012

Emotional Vampires are Alive and Well In My Neck of the Woods

I am not a regular blogger. I don't think I would even qualify as being an irregular blogger, I blog so infrequently. But I think about blogging regularly. And I read and contribute to other blogs regularly.

And I make up excuses as to why I do not blog personally.
  1. I'm physically tired after an 8 - 10 hour work day ( I am a licensed physiotherapist in a sole charge clinic - it pays my bills)
  2. I'm mentally tired. I read for my employment, write letters and charts on patients' behalf, and read many blogs and news spots with regards to writing and the publishing world. Most of what I am thinking about has been written about and presented in ways sounding much more eloquent than I could write.
  3. I don't have the experience or knowledge yet to contribute in a meaningful way, like J.A. Konrath or Wesley Dean Smith or Joanna Penn do.
Lately, however, after some soul-searching on this topic, I realized that it's not always procrastination or being disorganized.

It is not always my fault.

That's right. Like an unseen force that you sense creeping up from somewhere behind you, I have come to recognize the invisible force that sucks my energy away from me and ultimately threatens my writing success.
And Then. I. Know.
It's an encounter with an Emotional Vampire.
    These are the people, and sometimes the situations, that drain you of the energy needed to accomplish a goal. ( Like reaching my daily work count, or doing a regular blog.) They may not leave a fang mark on your neck, but their siphoning off of your time, energy, and focus is every bit as real. Ever had a spouse or friend frequently interrupt you in your writing? Make disparaging remarks about your goals? Complain about the time you devote to your writing while ignoring them? Or how about a social commitment that invades and takes over the time that you have set aside to write?

    Writing takes energy and time. If you are chronically short on either, your writing will suffer.

    I began to identify these attacks on me by the emotional vampires around me. Sometimes, I think the attacks were deliberate, sometimes they were accidental, but once I recognized that they were going on, I began to shield myself from their damage.

    I grew thicker skin.( It's harder to pierce with those snide remarks.) I prioritized my time, considering my writing as not just this fun thing that I do as a hobby in the evenings, but as my second job. I shared less information about my writing with others so as to not invite their unrequested opinions - opinions that I would end up either having to refute, or offer further explanation in response to.

    I reserve my energy now for my plot and characters. I no longer squander my time, fulfilling other requests at the expense of my writing. And I am winning. And writing. Regularly.