By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Lindsay A. Preston,
USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs
Time management – a way to balance the tasks we have to do with the tasks we want to do. For one Sailor aboard aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), finding the right method to manage his time was the key to achieving his life long goal of becoming a published writer.
Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class D. Avera is slated to release his 22nd alternate history short-story, “The Telsa Gate” in the anthology, “Alt. History 102”, Jan. 31. Proceeds will be donated to children’s literacy programs.
“Applying a little time each day toward a bigger goal is the best way to tackle projects—whether it’s a qualification, studying for advancement or writing a book,” said Avera. “I’m sure everyone can relate to the grinding feeling when you are neglecting something. Putting it off only makes you feel worse about it. If you want to do it then you have to make time for it.”
Avera grew up reading comic books. At age 16, he was inspired by comic book writer and novelist Peter David to put pen to paper and share his own story.
“It was the first time I found reading someone’s work to be as enjoyable as the comic books I loved,” said Avera. “From there the seed was planted to write a book.”
Avera grew up in Meridian, Miss and enjoyed watching the Navy Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels, at air shows every year. Inspired by their impressive displays and the opportunities that lie before him, Avera joined the Navy at 17-years-old as an aviation electrician’s mate, placing his passion for writing on hold.
“It wasn’t until I turned 30 that I realized I had not accomplished all I wanted to with my writing,” said Avera. “Often, time escapes us and we lose sight of our personal goals that are put on the back burner.”
Avera is married and has two daughters, ages 12 and 8, and said part of his motivation stems from wanting to be a good role model for them – a model of patience, persistence, and perseverance to achieve your goals and not give up on your dreams.
“I wanted to prove that I could do it and set a positive example for my children,” said Avera. “Encouraging words only go so far, but demonstrating how to achieve a goal will remind them that anything can be done if you set your mind to it.”
Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class N. Payne has known Avera for more than a year and said he is very impressed with Avera’s stories and his ability to achieve his personal and professional goals.
“Everything is a choice and there are only so many hours in a day,” said Payne. “It’s a test of self-discipline to be able to balance time and effort to achieve your goals in such an arduous work environment. Avera is a prime example that anything can be achieved. You just have to set a goal, break it down into smaller pieces and focus each day to accomplish what you need to get closer to achieving that goal.”
Avera discovered a contest through National Novel Writing Month where winners who wrote 50,000 words within 30 days would receive five free copies of their work in paperback.
“That is every writer’s dream, to hold their book in their hands,” said Avera. “That is what it took for me to settle in and focus on my goal. Twenty-three days later I finished my first book, ‘The Dead Planet Series.’”
Avera has published more than 20 stories over the course of three years and said he is grateful he can pursue his two passions – writing while still serving in the Navy.
“In the world of self-publishing I have found many Sailors doing the same things I am doing,” said Avera. “Some are retired Navy and are now full-time writers. I still have a ways to go, but half the fun is the journey to get there.”
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