If you’re a first-year PhD student, it’s entirely common to start worrying about your abilities as a writer.
“I used to think I was a decent writer,” the thought goes. “Now I just don’t know.”
Personally, I’ll never forget the experience of submitting my first-ever graduate-level colloquium paper at Columbia University, and the day we were all set to receive our grades and comments. I was standing outside the classroom with a group of cohort-mates, all of us uncharacteristically quiet.
I decided to break the silence.
“Does anyone else feel like a shitty writer all of a sudden? I used to know how to do this and now I just don’t!”
Yea! Yes! I know! Same here!, everyone piped up, cacophonously.
Everyone (or everyone who’s honest with themselves) goes through this stage. Just know that it’s entirely normal and, I’d venture to say, even healthy.