A couple of weeks ago, I led a local, in-person meeting of a women-in-business support group. This was the fourth time we'd met, and all the meetings before had been full of amazing connection and even transformation for some of us. I always came home energized and filled up.

This time, though, it was different. One of the women sucked at my energy. Not on purpose, I'm sure, but she was so negative, and her energy was so barbed that I actually felt attacked. Again, not deliberately, but the effect was still there.

I went home, exhausted.

No big deal, mostly, except that I was going to be leading one of my monthly Just Write workshops at noon. And I had been planning on using my own workshop to get a lot of work done: new website copy, marketing campaigns, video scripts, and more.

I just couldn't do it. Even after the 30-minute nap before the workshop to try to recover my energy, I was still utterly depleted.

I got nothing done during the four-hour workshop. During the time I had set aside. I was useless during that time. There was nothing. No creative spark. No energy to do even small tasks.

It felt like a waste - my wasted, set-aside, creative time.

What I realized is that when I have time put aside to create - precious time, I might add - I need to protect that time. Basically, I need to protect my creative energy: swaddle it, keep it safe, nurture it, and growl like a wolf if something threatens it.

Whether you have formal time set aside to do your writing and creating, or it's time you spend every day, make sure you protect it.

You have to be conscious, first of all, that you have this block of time set aside, whether it's 30 minutes or 4 hours. Think of it as a precious commodity that must be protected. By being conscious of it, then you can better able to sense attacks or anticipate when something wants to bash up against your creative time. It's the difference between being proactive and reactive.

Whether you're going from a normal work day, a meeting or out-in-the-world activity, or other day-to-day tasks to writing, make sure you have some sort of transition activity. Meditate. Breathe. Journal. Read. Have a cup of tea. Go for a walk. Transition in some way from Activity A to Activity B.

While this could be a subset of #2, create margin around your creative time. Don't schedule things right up to the beginning or right after the ending of your creative time. Don't do work or household tasks up to the minute that it's time for you to start creating. Schedule margin. (There's a reason paper has margins. It's too hard on the eyes and on the brain to read a piece of paper that has writing filled from very edge to very edge. It's exhausting.)

Place boundaries and shields around your creative time. These can be physical as well as mental and energetic. Don't check email. Don't answer the phone. Heck, turn off your phone! And if you're susceptible to other people's energy (life-giving or draining to you), then learn how to shield yourself from that as well.

Get centered and grounded before your creative time. This is different from the transitioning I mentioned in #1. This is where you go to that peaceful, quiet place where you feel grounded. Remove worries and concerns about other things going on in your life. Right now, this is your creative time. Create a sacred bubble around it. Get yourself in the mindset of what you'll be working on in your creative time.

Your energy is your most precious natural resource. And creating is an incredible manifestation of who you are and what you have to offer the world. Protect it as such.

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Shuler, Content Creator Extraordinaire, helps entrepreneurs and authors convey their deep message into compelling words, whether it's marketing material or a book, as well as to create powerful content to increase their credibility, visibility, and profitability. Her soul purpose is to help entrepreneurs unleash their authentic selves into their businesses through their content. She created the Writing From Your Soul system to help business owners connect more powerfully, reach more people, and make a difference. Download the free, 13-step system at www.WritingFromYourSoul.com.