Yes, they are real and they live in every aspect of our society. Now bear with me here. This article does have to do with writing.
These vampires are known by a few different names: The psychic, the emotional, and the energy vampire.
How can you tell if you’ve been around them? It’s easy. Every one of us has been around that friend or coworker who makes us feel drained or suddenly tired. He or she is a psychic/emotional/energy vampire. In some cases, the person might not even know that they’re a vampire. Heck, you might be one and not know it! This does happen.
There are signs though. The psychic/emotional/energy vampire has the attitude that his/her needs are more important than anyone else’s. They feel that society’s rules (or any rules) don’t apply to them and nothing is ever his/her fault. No way! Oh, the vampire also has the attitude of, “I want it now and if I don’t get it I’ll throw a tantrum!”
How do you get rid of them? This might be trickier. Attend writing conferences. Do you like crafts or fishing? Attend these types of events. The thing here is to be around upbeat people with the same interests as you. Control your emotions. Don’t let your anger or frustration at the vampire show. He/she feeds off these emotions thus leaving you feel drained. Exercise daily. This makes you physically feel good making it hard for the vampire to feed off you.
These people remind me of the Dementors in the Harry Potter books. Remember how they made you feel as if there were no happiness left in the world when they were around?
As I said before, these vampires invade every part of our society. They're even in our writing physical and online critique groups.
These critique group vampires are attention seekers whose egos constantly have to be stroked. They are very touchy about the feedback they get on a submission and they don’t actually want to learn the craft of writing. They want to turn in a load of junk and have the other members fix it for them. They don’t have ideas of their own. These people are arrogant. They believe that writing is automatically coded into their DNA.
Now, what do we do about the critique group vampire? My first suggestion is the same as the first one above. Attend a writing conference. You can check out our events page for some good physical conferences to attend. Attend any other gathering that has to do with what interests you. It might be genealogy, knitting, woodworking, fishing, sports…. Well, you get the idea. The critique group vampire does not want to further himself. He/she wants to ride the coat-tails of others so, no matter what you may try, don’t enable him/her.
How do we rid ourselves without hurting their feelings? I have to be perfectly honest here. I don’t know except to try out another group where all the members are open to a good critique.
Now you know vampires do exist. None of them wear tuxedoes or say, “Let me suck your blood!”