Vampires, love them, malign them, but don't ignore them.
The MVs, not to be confused with MVPs, are all those things and people that suck, not our blood, but our energy and will to keep doing whatever it is we hold dear. In my case that's writing. In your case it might be something different.
Metaphorical vampire moments can come disguised as an off-hand comment. "Oh, are you still doing that writing thing?"
They can be guilt-based. "Volunteerism is the wind beneath this organization's wings and we couldn't do it without your help."
They can be need-based. "I've been feeling so lonely. My therapist says I should make an effort to get out more, but I can't stand the thought of going anywhere by myself."
Or they can be heavy hitters, clueless yet insistent. "Boy, you look like you're working hard. So, what are you working on? Isn't this a beautiful fall we're having. What do you think of the Knicks/Ducks/Giants/Beavers/Yankees? (I just exhausted my knowledge of sports and teams right there) Have you heard about that new ballot measure?"
All of these MVs have genuine needs. Their goal isn't to stop my writerly work, drag it down, halting it dead with their sharp teeth. But sometimes, that's what happens.
It takes discipline to let the off-hand comment go, put reins on the guilt I feel when I don't step up to the volunteer plate. I struggle to balance when to be available for the friend in need and how to politely rebuff the chatty stranger who views an empty seat at my side as an invitation to sit down and talk.
I'm not metaphorical vampire-proof, but I'm getting better. I've discovered energy, like blood, is a renewable resource. Even so, after my family is packed off to school and work for the day, I give first dibs on that resource to my writing. Then, when I hit my magic number of words the metaphorical vampires are free to drink every drop that's left behind.
How do you deal with the metaphorical vampires in your life?