All of a writer’s fears, in one place. Ford reflects on writing out of a hole, and what keeps him from “going full-bore bananacakes” with his work:

“I have dug a number of limbic trenches, mental pathways that lead to stress and anxiety. I have a mixed (but steadily improving) record on substances, especially food. And if I allow the book and my writing to become a proxy for myself, as a sort of external version of my identity, I’m in trouble. But if I let these things be products, if I let them exist outside of me, don’t worry how people react to them, just let what wants to happen, happen—well, then I stand a chance of doing good work, without having to disgorge that work from myself seppuku-style using a rusty sword with a hilt of guilt and a dull blade forged from procrastination. That is, I need to make writing something besides a daily referendum on my worth as a human. Which it has become, for reasons.”