I have, as long as I can remember, always liked games. Seriously, as far back as I can remember. Like, when I was less than five, my cousin, who was three years older than me, and I walked three miles from my great-grandmother's house to her (mostly unused) house to get Mouse Trap ("You roll your dice, you move your mice; nobody gets hurt."), because that's what we wanted to play. I'm not sure anyone knew where we went, and I'm not sure anyone knew we were gone. But, you know, it was the East Texas countryside, and we were rarely where anyone knew where we were most of any given day.
As it turned out, though, when we got there, we discovered that about half of the pieces to the trap were missing and all of the cheese. So, yeah, we got to walk back empty-handed.
At any rate, well before the age of ten, I began having... issues... finding anyone willing to play anything with me. Except, maybe, Battle. Or War. Or whatever you call it. You know, the card game where you just flip over the top card and the player with the high card wins. That one was pure chance, so I could still get people to play that one with me. Then I discovered Risk.
Of course, it didn't just start out that way, but it didn't take long for them to realize that that is what it would take for them to have a chance to beat me, and it became the way every game started. Every game. It was just accepted that everyone started out with the goal of beating me and they would worry about each other later. Actually, it was not uncommon for them to just quit playing once they'd defeated me.
I lost a lot of games that way. BUT I still won games, too. Probably something like 1/3 of them. Sometimes, it was upsetting, the whole thing with having everyone always set against me. It's tough when you're 12 to deal with the fact that everyone wants to see you lose. Actually, it's difficult to deal with that at any age, but middle school is already the worst, and always having everyone team up against me made it the worst of the worst.
And it didn't stop there. I started getting into other strategy games in high school and carried that on into college and, pretty much, that became the routine I had to deal with in any group game. Everyone's goal was always to take me out as quickly as possible. The catch was, and I had known this since middle school, if I wanted to play, I just had to deal with it. And I wanted to play.
And that's the way a lot of things in life are. Not the having everyone team up against you but the balancing of the potential of having your feelings hurt against doing the thing you want to do. That's especially true in writing. You have to know going in that you're going to get your feelings hurt at some point. The question is, "Is it worth the Risk to get to do that thing you want to do?" (Look, another version of Risk!)
When you set out to be a writer, a published one, you really need to go into it with the mindset of having everyone teamed up against you, everyone wanting to see you lose. Which is not to say that everyone actually wants to see you lose, but everyone is playing their own game, and they are all trying to win, so it's not like anyone is on your side, not in any real sense. You're not part of a team like the guys who always teamed up to make sure that I didn't win. You are on your own.
And, then, there are the reviews. Mostly, it's the lack of reviews, but it's also the negative reviews, and you have to go into it knowing that that's going to happen, so you have to go into it willing to put your feelings aside in exchange for getting to do the thing you want to do: writing. You have to put your feelings at Risk.
(Look! Another version of Risk!)
(And look again, another version of Risk!)
You make your choices going in, but you have to be willing to take the consequences. You put your feelings aside in order to get to play the game or you explode to find that no one wants to play with you. Or work with you. Or be around you. Or all they want to do is push the big giant button you've shown yourself to have and they spend their time provoking you just because it's fun.
Personally, I wan to play the game, and I've had, I suppose, pretty good training in dealing with situations where I have to fight the odds to win. Of course, when you do win, it makes victory so much better.
By the way, I still love Risk. I don't get to play it very often, but I love the game.