Interviewed by 4am
4am: Good morning, once again, and thank you for agreeing to meet with me here.
Daryl: Of course, I love coming here. It’s one of the best times of day I’ve found to get things done.
4am: Well, thank you. It seems you’ve jumped right into my questions, so let’s go with it. Can you say more?
Daryl: Yes, I’ve tried this at 5am, 6am, 9pm, 10pm, and midnight and none have the same power over the day as 4am.
4am: Now, when you say “this,” can you say what exactly you’re referring to?
Daryl: Sure, for me it’s Journey Jars, but it might be anything for anyone else. When it comes to 4am, it’s less about the what and more about the when. Nobody’s up yet, you yourself are freshly emerged from the place of greatest inspiration — sleep. No one else is up, and if they are, they’re also in that same quiet, reverent mindset.
4am: Doesn’t it ruin the rest of your day to start so early?
Daryl: Just the opposite. Sure, I need a need either some green tea, dark chocolate or a nap in a major way around 2:30pm. But the charge it gives you to start the day having devoted the first chunk of it to your own passions, it nothing short of holy.
4am: That sounds a bit dramatic. Are you sure you mean what you’re saying and haven’t just been getting up too early for too long?
Daryl: Oh I mean it, and more. I’ve been working on my vision faithfully for over 20 years and could not have imagined how hard it would be to keep moving forward, how much dedication it would take, how much belief. But I honestly can’t tell you which came first anymore — the passion or the early-rising. I was always a morning person. When I did it as a child, it just felt like a way to be first at something — like being in front of a cafeteria line. In college, I used it to read all the amazing books that had nothing to do with the courses I was actually taking. And once I figured out what and how I thought I wanted to write, waking up early was more of an effect than a cause. As I surrendered to inspiration, it would wake me up, whether I had gone to bed at 10pm or 2am.
4am: And how would you describe that inspiration — as a feeling, a force, or something else?
Daryl: It’s felt like different things at different times, but I have a feeling that it’s as close to an actual spirit as we come as humans. When you find a thing greater than yourself to engage in and stick to it long enough or passionately enough, you end up as just a part of it, and getting to it at 4am feels like worship or some other life-giving ritual. I actually get sick if I miss enough days of it.
4am: Wow, that’s interesting. So there’s a bodily reaction to not getting up at 4am?
Daryl: Well, yes. If I haven’t written or rolled scrolls in too long of a period I get a mild fever and then eventually some cold or allergenic food takes me out for many days. But if I’m in a steady flow of 4am writing and rolling, the whole house can be full of sick people, and I don’t get so much as a sniffle.
4am: Well, that’s all the time we have for today. I need to get some rest before my shift starts.
Daryl: Yeah, me too. Thanks for this. See you soon!