Confronting the writer’s block

Writing about life in Venezuela is not easy being kilometers away. Coming back to Norway and re-setting the mind to have an everyday life in here took some time and also meant letting go of life in Venezuela. Keeping in touch was too painful and the distance grew with time.

I have been told, “they all say they will come back, but nobody does”. I guess this is understandable, as circumstances do not seem to improve in Venezuela. I have to admit as I re-entered into Norwegian lifestyle, it is an easier everyday life. On the other hand, despite how comfortable living here is, the feeling of something uncompleted is often present in me.

The last days in Venezuela were chaotic, at least. After deciding to leave there was only six days to complete our buckets list, a task impossible not only time wise, but also the unstable situation put a limit to our adventures. There was barely time for goodbyes.

Back home my head was filled with thoughts about the things that were suppose to come. The longing after a life in the past is not compatible with a life in the present. Consequently, it was easier to push the thoughts away and create a distance to everything, including the writing.

Nevertheless, I want to start writing again. The question is, what to write about? Over half a year has passed since I left and I guess I have had a huge ‘writers block’ since then. Reasons are many, but definitely not lack of interest (and love) for Venezuela. The last words of the last post were: I will be back Venezuela, because you have my heart.

And I am going back! Tickets are booked and I am counting the days until I will be in a car with way too many people, feel the tropical sun on my face, eat greasy empanadas, talk to strangers and most important… see my friends again after the heartbreaking goodbye.

Until then, what to write about? I need some help because neither the gym nor the public transportation in Norway are good sources of inspiration. As I am currently learning Spanish and studying Latin American history I am tempted to write some historical pieces, knowing I will be on thin ice. I could also write about how impossible it is to learn Spanish, a task I struggle with every day at university. If failing on both I can always search my head for some experiences made during my time in Venezuela before I come back to make new ones, then there will be no excuses not to write!

Suggestions on topics are more than welcome!

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25 Responses to Confronting the writer’s block

  1. Norway is an oil producing country, the same as Venezuela. However, it seems management of the oil industry in Norway is very different from what happens in Venezuela, where mismanagement would be a light adjective to describe it. How does it feel in Norway the influence of oil? How do citizens have a say in the oil industry there? What could we in Venezuela do, to manage it better? Would that change the country as you know it? I would appreciate your comments.

  2. ¡Qué bueno saber que volverás a mi país! Mientras tanto, mucho éxito con tus clases de español 🙂 Tampoco está de más decir que me alegra saber que volverás a escribir. Bienvenida de nuevo.

  3. Angela says:

    Buen viaje y que tu vida siga llenándose de experiencias hermosas en mi amada Venezuela.

  4. felix says:

    Hi Martine, i knew from you in facebook, from some friends who linked this blog of yours. So i start reading about your experience here in venezuela. Was a really sad thing to read about your last days in venezuela specially with all what was going on, and im really sorry you had to experience all that. But like we say “no se puede tapar el sol con un dedo”. This is our current reality. Now from what you have recently wrote i think you might have to many questions about Latin America and maybe thats why you are interested in the history of this side of the american continent. So what i can tell you is that like every topic, everything you read will depend on the eyes of the writer. So what im trying to say yes we have problems and its a good thing to try to find solutions to it and history helps tracking so much of whats going on right now, but there are different sides of the History. Maybe the best way to explain what im trying to say comes from this beautiful woman and her life experince:

    So the way i can contribute or try to help you is in your journey of latin american history is recomending you another side of the story usually not told in books. Now im not saying that other facts are needed to take into account im just pointing out that there are so many things around latin america history that usually in books alot of stuffs its just left out.

    And this might be a book that can introduce you to some facts of our country, and again this is one side of the sotry.

    Hope it helps, take care and godspeed. Sorry about my English just hope i explain my self enough so the ideas could be understood.

    PS: And remember be aware of the “sereno” specially up there in Norway 😀

    • I could not agree more, there are so many stories and sides of history. I am guess when I try to find answers only new questions will arise. I am actually currently reading Open Veins of Latin America and loving it. I will check out the other book. Thanks a lot for the comment and ideas 🙂

  5. Amanda says:

    I am from Maracaibo, Venezuela. I read your post after the problems in the country. I read about you living in the country and how scary it was for you. I left Venezuela a week ago. I was going to Canada but it was denied by CADIVI and I changed the destination, that’s something you can write about: trying to explain what is CADIVI to the rest of the world.
    Also you can talk about the things that you want to do again and the new ones you want to try. The places you want to visit now because there’s a lot of Venezuela still to know.
    As a venezuelan I’m ashamed to say be careful, the ways out are being closed more and more as the time goes by.
    I admire you right now, enjoy your trip


  6. willcastillo says:

    You were doing a great job describing how Venezuela and its people really are. Then, out of the blue, everythng went down the drain for something totally out of your control.

    Please, pretty please… never stop writing about all those little things that amused you (the gym, the food, the dance culture as you name it, etc). There are already plenty of options to read about all the politicaly crazyness and nonsenses that surround us. You can write about it every once in a while, but don’t make it the focal point of your blog.

    I left Venezuela more than three years ago, and I can’t describe the joy I felt when I read how locos we venezuelans are, coming from someone that were born and raised in a culture so difference than ours. Those lines really shone.

    You are braver than most of us by going back there.

    My hat off.

  7. Aude says:

    I admire you and appreciate your love for Venezuela. It really warms my heart. It’s an amazing country and it deserves much better than what we are actually going through. Maybe someday we will go back to be a prosperous country, and all the crazy polarization will be a matter of the past. As a child I had the opportunity to be part of an undivided Venezuela, and I can assure you it was a great place to live.

    Regarding books, “Open veins of Latin America” is a very interesting read, but its own author acknowledged he was too young when he wrote it, and didn’t have the advantage of maturity to have a more balanced political point of view about many of the issues he pointed out in the book.

    Please try to read this other book too: Carlos Rangel was an outstanding Venezuelan journalist and writer and in my opinion, he had a very deep understanding of issues that we face nowadays not only in Venezuela, but in the rest of Latin America.

    Good luck with your trip. And please keep writing and loving Venezuela the way you do. You are a great storyteller and have special talent to describe your perceptions of our country in an honest and unbiased fashion.

  8. JOSE MARTINEZ says:

    Hi there, I always admire people that can write. you could write about people that have left and are now in self impose exile. If I am right you could interview many of your Venezuelans followers and write many stories that will probably interest many others that will find that their stories are similar and different at the same time, with only one thing in common and is there love for there Home Land. Jose.

    Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2014 22:29:38 +0000 To:

  9. Nestor says:

    I encourage you to talk about that people who had to do the same as you but are not norwegian but Venezuelans. You should meet Venezuelan people in your country or around EU and see how this different culture where they come from has criss-crossed with the new ones, in the country that has had recieved them. I bet you will find many of them, and probably wont have to wait until you are back to Venezuela to taste an arepa or a greasy empanada again ;). If you ever get to come to Santiago de Chile, we could meet :).

    Best regards, Nestor Altuve, a Venezuelan in Santiago!

  10. Luis Burke says:

    Hi Martine!! I’m glad to finally receive another of your posts. 🙂

    Yes, it is absoutely difficult to leave… each and everyone under different circumstances… however I’d like to share this with you 😉 hugs!!!

  11. Xmisanka says:

    Hi Martine and Everyone here,
    I came back to read your blog to maybe find and answer whether I should go soon to visit this country joining my partner. First I saw you were going again, but then I read all the other comments of Venezuelans. I cannot stop wondering, how come the world is so clsed to understand or even hear what is going on. The last travel agent when I asked if they would not recommend me to go there just said ‘why? Is there anything going on?’ At the same time all of the many Venezuelans we know no one is going back because of fear. That is really something.
    If anyone here had any recommendations for travel, I’d be very happy to hear.

  12. José says:

    pocos autores lograron ver el alma de los venezolanos mejor que Aquiles Nazoa

  13. Omar Alejandro says:

    Hei Martine.
    I started reading your blog when I knew I was coming to Norway. I’m from Barquisimeto and I moved to Oslo 6 months ago. One of my best friends (You may remember him, Ramon Vasquez – former LCP of Aiesec) told me about your blog so I decided to check it out. I think you have done a fantastic job describing the differences between Norway and Venezuela. In fact, I have taken a couple of your posts as a style guide to live in Norway. 🙂 let me know if you need a Venezuelan friend in Oslo. I’d be happy to meet up for a coffee and talk about my country with someone like you who have lived there. Ha det bra!

  14. Alicia says:

    You can read about Latin American hisory, then compare it to what is happening now, and write your thoughts about it 😉 This people has the memory of a fish and that is the main reason why we are where we are.

  15. jose says:

    Hi martine i’ve been reading your blog and love you’re writing again… sorry you have to go but it was for good… gonna be better there I totally love to read you’re gonna be back at venezuela… I think we all love to know about you and what you do im your day to day what you like your family and the little stuff like that… love from cabudare barquisimeto

  16. I enjoyed reading your stories a lot. I live in Bogota, Colombia, and while it may be not the best place on earth, I understand how peaceful it is comparing to Venezuela. I am going to travel there for 3 weeks, will be interesting to see it in person. Keep the good work!

  17. emmascarada says:

    It makes me happy that you comeback to my country! It’s weird but at the same time I feel sad because I don’t love my country as you do and I’m from here! It’s something that I can’t explain, it’s crazy because in a normal situation you will love your country, but however, here is my proposal: you could try to interview people who wants to leave Venezuela and people who doesn’t want to leave the country, will be “dos caras de una misma moneda”. And oh! I don’t know if you’re here I mean now now but it’s Xmas here so you could talk about what we do or eat on these holidays, about our traditions or everything hahaha maybe if you came to Caracas could talk about the Metro de Caracas or OOOHHH! You could talk about venezuelan movies like “Papita, Maní, Tostón”, “La Hora Cero” or “La Casa del Fin de los Tiempos”. You could also talk about venezuelan baseball because it’s craaaaazy! My team is “Leones del Caracas” but you could talk about the competition of what’s the best team hahaha you could ask to your friends and the common is “Leones del Caracas” or “Navegantes del Magallanes” and well dear I’m glad that you comeback here! I mean on wordpress hahaha writing hahaha. Also could talk about chocolate that I think is delicious. One more thing sweetheart I apologize if I talk like Tarzan of the Apes but I don’t speak english very well as you can notice but at least I’m trying hard by my own hahaha 🙂 my best wishes for you and Merry Christmas and a Happy Neew Year 😀

  18. DaniMathes says:

    Hallo Martine! I’m Daniella from Venezuela. Now I’m visiting Norway for one month and believe me I can understand perfectly what are you talking about Venezuela and the difference between here and there. I only have 2 perfects weeks and I’m in love of Norway; it is the best country I haven’t been before. Now I’m trying to find how can I do to have the homology of my title, even I can’t do it I will return, definitely to move here. My boyfriend (Norwegian) was there too and we went to Los Roques, if you haven’t been there yet so I have to say if you go you will love more Venezuela. By the other way, I can understand the feeling you’re talking about what you missed of Venezuela, I’m missing that things too, especially las empanadas!!! My mom sells it and she cooks it very very good. If you go to Valencia and I am there you can contact me, I’m trying to learn Norsk like you Spanks . Hope you have great days in Venezuela and be careful. Take care. Good to read you and Ha det bra! 😉

  19. Chloe says:

    Hi Martine,
    When are you going back to Venezuela? I’m going there in less than a week. I’m from Hawai’i and my boyfriend is Caraqueño. I would love to read about your take on the current economic crisis and how you feel returning with these current events unfolding. Are you simply visiting or planning to work there again?

    Aloha and thank you for your blogs, I’ve enjoyed reading them this past year.

  20. gsilvau says:

    Hi Martine!
    Checking my old bookmarks I decided to pay your blog another visit today. Last I read was when you left Venezuela, and today I saw your post from last october.
    I’m terribly sorry you couldn’t experience more of my country, nor do it in a safer way than you had to. It is a beautiful a country filled with amazing people.
    I hope to read more from you soon. Latin american history is a fascinating subject, and you can also learn a lot about our idiosyncrasy on Gabriel García Márquez’ masterpiece “100 years of solitude” (100 años de soledad), a wonderful book everyone, everywhere, should read.
    I hope you’ve made some progress on your spanish lessons, and whatever you choose to write about, I hope comes soon!

  21. Martine, after you drop Open Veins, which Galeano himself has recanted saying he was not qualified to write about the subject, read “Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot”. It’s avaiable for Kindle.

  22. Alex says:

    I laughed a lot reading your blog, I read it all quickly and it seems very funny to me, It was lovely to know that you were in my hometown Barquisimeto.


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