Inferiority Complex is something a lot of people suffer from. I’ve been involved in a lot of discussions around this topic. A lot of students and newbie game developers at GDC would mention how out of place, and uncomfortable they felt attending the event because they felt inadequate. From my experience, Inferiority Complex stems from a desire to feel on the same level with those around you, or when you feel that you lack the knowledge or experience equal to those in your chosen field. It’s compounded by fear of rejection, or it heightens other insecurities. There is a sense that you overwhelmingly lack something that you should have, although you can’t identify what it is.
It’s a guessing game you’re always losing.
Inferiority Complex drove fear into my hands and froze my fingertips from typing. This complex was the reason I never touched the business cards I received and why I stopped attending GDC. It fed my self-loathing and partnered with my jealousy. Desperate to fill the void of knowledge, I leaped into my Master’s degree. Even after I graduated and up to now, the feeling hasn’t gone away. It still haunts every keystroke and hides in between the words that I carefully pick to tell a story. It feasts on my insecurities and highlights every flaw I have.
A lot of this also comes from growing up with Dyslexia. I grew up feeling inferior and reminded of my difference when I had to go to another class to learn basic English. No matter how hard I tried to sound out the word, just like the teacher said, it was always wrong. Embarrassment was a stable part of my schooling, and I was slapped pretty hard in the face with it the last year of undergrad.
My novella was originally supposed to be a game, but after a falling out with the team, I walked away with the story. I then tried to have it turned into a comic book but could never get an artist to stick around. I spent two years trying various forms of media before I gave up on finding people to help and turned it into a novella. The first draft of the novella was 90 pages, and I was feeling pretty good about it until the first critique came in. I’m sure she said something that made sense about sentence syntax and story structure, but what I heard, what the Inferiority Complex said is, “you’re a horrible writer and no one can read this dyslexic piece of garbage.”
I fell completely apart that day and I’m still recovering.
My novella is a continued source of disappointment and something I rarely talk about when people ask if I’ve written anything. It’s a reminder of what I had become, a desperate, miserable, and angry woman who just wanted everything to end. Somehow I pulled off completing the novella and graduated. Somehow I pushed aside my complex and completed my MFA. Somehow I’m still writing despite the fear of total rejection and failure.