Louise Behiel: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Being Between: a series about moving from our current day jobs and life situations toward our true vocations and life goals.

Today I’m honored to welcome romance writer-translation manager-psychotherapist Louise Behiel.

When Sally asked me to consider contributing to this series, I had to smile—so very often I consider myself caught between a rock, a hard place and a mountain.  Think of me in the middle of a triangle where the walls seem to be closing in.

I’m blessed with many interests, a need to serve and a passion to write.

During the day, I’m the manager of Interpretation and Translation  for the Health Authority in Alberta, Canada. It’s my job to make sure that our limited English-speaking patients have access to trained and highly competent medical interpreters.

I am fascinated by the practice of medicine and by the amazing care given in our facilities. But, given that I don’t like blood, needles or body fluids, this is as close as I can come to the action.

Just in case you’re wondering, I speak only one language. But many of my staff speak three or four. One speaks eight. They work with medical professionals across the spectrum of health care. They can explain medical procedures, outcomes and information in each of those languages. It’s a big job (imagine keeping up with the ever-evolving medical terminology) and I’m honored to be part of the team. 

To feed my need to help others, I have a small private practice as a psychotherapist. I majored in the issues of women, but my practice has included lots of men. Go figure. They tell me I’m unshakable and nothing embarrasses me. (They’re right.) It just proves that the Universe has a sense of humor.

In my spare time, I write romance. I love stories with happy endings. Romance is a nice foil for all the pain and trauma I work with.

So what’s my day like? I work full time and have a one-hour commute. I see five to ten clients a week. After that, I write. In my spare time, I spoil my grandchildren, keep my life in order (I’m single), market my books and play on Facebook.

What’s my long-range plan? Writing is today’s key to sanity and the key to my transition to retirement. It is something I can do for a long time. Since it feeds my soul, it’s something that will always be part of me.

In the meantime, I have a mortgage to pay and a retirement to fund.

Is all the work worth it? I think so. I have a rich life where I know I make a difference. And I have many writer friends who understand my passion for getting words down on paper. We all know I wouldn’t be happy if I delayed writing until I had time to write.

Could I write more? Maybe. But when I’ve had an unproductive week, I refuse to get down on myself. After all, I’m already busier than a one-handed wallpaper hanger. Beating myself up for not doing more writing is pointless, counterproductive and depressing.

I am in the between stage of transition from where I am to where I’m going.  It’s not always comfortable, but it’s necessary if I’m going to follow my dream.

So what’s your dream? What are you doing to reach it?

Come join the conversation on Louise’s blog, and catch her on AmazonFacebook and @LouiseBehiel.




20 thoughts on “Louise Behiel: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

  1. Pingback: Weird Weekend – Between Lives « Serena Dracis' Blog

  2. Kourtney Heintz

    Louise I am amazed by all the you do in a day. Wow. Congrats on making the time to pursue your passion to write and having books out there. That’s truly awe inspiring. 🙂

  3. Jane Myers Perrine

    Louise–I really enjoyed this. When I worked in a state hospital, one of the doctors was from Asia and had a heavy accents and one of the nurses was a native speaker of Sp;anish, also with a heavy accent. The staff meetings were hysterically funny. How good that you do have lots of people to help in this situation.

  4. Jennette Marie Powell

    I thought I commented on Friday, but my phone must’ve eaten it! Just wanted to say, thanks for a fun look at Louise’s jam-packed life! I had no idea you had two paycheck jobs, Louise – and glad to hear you don’t let it get you down when they take time away from writing, and instead focus on what you do get done!

  5. Joan Leacott

    Louise, just finished Family Ties and really enjoyed it. Where did you come up with the idea for Gray’s story? I have two related dreams. Write a book–just finished the first draft of my third novel–check. Get published–my prior novel is on submission–not yet checked.

    1. Louise Behiel

      Joan, congrats on finishing this draft. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling to finish a book? Good luck with your submission. The waiting is deadly.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my first book. I love Gray’s story. I wanted to write a story about a man who’s sense of family runs deep but is very complicated. And the more he finds out, the more complicated it becomes. As a theapist I know any number of people (myself inluded) who totally repressed memories of childhood events. One day I was thinking about ‘real’ families and ‘real’ experiences and the idea of a man raised by a totally over-protective mother came to mind. And then it was simply a matter of writing and re-writing (almost endlessly).

  6. karladarcy

    Great interview, Sally. I’m so impressed with all you do, Louise. I would think writing romance would be a wonderful release from the stress of your everyday life. It’s nice to write a happy ending when sometimes you don’t see them in your work.

  7. Shirley Vicchitto

    I love reading the books written by Louise and enjoy participating in her blog. My life is very busy and crazy in a totally different way but I love connecting with others who reach out to help those around them and find joy in that service.

  8. gingercalem

    What Pat said … your blogging is a HUGE bonus to so many. You are a busy woman, always kind, insightful and friendly. Not sure if I should envy you for all that. 😉 I can’t because I just like ya so much.

    1. Louise Behiel

      thankks Ginger. It is such a pleasure to have a strong community here on the web. I’ve met so many good people, including Sally, Pat and yourself. take care

  9. Bookworm

    Hello you two wonderful ladies!

    Well, that’s some life you’re leading Louise Behiel!!!
    What a stark contrast mine is to yours.
    My work is about fifteen minutes away from my home [I hate driving long distances, unless driving is done by my DH] and I’ve been employed [thank God, as so many are without work these days] by a man that’s on par with THE Donald [wealth wise, not the attitude!] in his private investment company. I am an office manager, although I really think I am a glorified concierge to his whole family [and that’s the part of my job I love more then anything].

    As my kids are in their early thirties and on their own, the home is quiet [two cats and a hubby] and that gives me plenty of time to read, Blog [www.bookworm2bookworm.wordpress.com] and indulge my two other passions, gardening and cooking.

    My dream is to one day write a book…but I am an Aries [April Fool’s baby] and I tend to procrastinate, so nothing is being done at this time…and I am alright with that…for now ;D

    Your books look and sound interesting and I’ll make sure I get one soon and have it join to my ever growing TBR list.

    Wishing you all the best,


    1. Louise Behiel

      Thanks for stopping by Mel.Sounds like your life is pretty full too. Procrastination is a bug bear for so many of us. Hope you enjoy my books. Let me know what you thnk.

  10. Denise D. Young

    Great post, Louise! I also feel a call to both make art and serve others. I’ve had the opportunity to help my fellow writers in various ways. I’ve provided guidance to a couple of young writers, I read manuscripts whenever I can for my fellow writers, and I’ve already presented one workshop for writers and am hoping that it is the first of many. I want to help other authors through my work, not to mention helping readers through the stories I create. Louise, you definitely help a lot of people through your work as a blogger, in addition to your day job. 🙂

    And S.J., if you’re ever looking for another guest blogger, I’d be happy to write about the life of a twenty-something who’s balancing many interests and a day job in public relations with a fiction-writing career.

  11. Louise Behiel

    Sally, thanks so much for having me here. As I read this over this morning, I realized again, how busy my life is. But I’m not ready to give up a moment of the fun.

  12. patodearosen

    Thanks, Sally, for introducing the amazing Louise to your audience. Louise, you didn’t even mention the way you help others via your blog and its posts that explain mental illnesses and the behaviors they trigger. You do good work.

    1. Heidi

      Yes. I was going to say what you said! The blog is how I met Louise and she has helped me with her solid information and inspirational attitude. I’m glad to find more about her here and see these pictures to add to my mental image of this wonderful woman!

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