Are extreme-sports enthusiasts hard-wired to be near-suicidal?
You have to wonder. Writing being the extreme opposite--or is it? The worst that can happen, falling off your chair. Getting carpal tunnel syndrome, or a pain in the neck. Or in the arse, when things don't pan out. Scalding your mouth with too-hot coffee. Back problems, possibly. The litany of ailments linked to a sedentary lifestyle. Heart attacks, diabetes, etc etc. The list is potentially endless.
Risk. The things we put our characters up to daily. The places we send them that we would never go. Or would we? Do we?
I'm thinking of a comment, made quite a few years back, by John Irving, about novelists' entitlement to write of grief they haven't "personally" experienced. If you do your emotional homework, he inferred, yes, it is not only possible to write of other's extreme sorrows, but incumbent upon the writer to plumb them.
Extreme empathy = revelation.
Which goes above and beyond ego, I think.
Emptying of the ego. The extremity of the extreme sport of writing.