Every blogger should have an Andy Pels

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Pictured L to R: my bonus mom Dee, Andy’s wife Blythe and kids, me and my kids, Andy Pels, and Abe Cajudo. Photo by Lewis Stewart (Pam’s Dad).

I started this blog in October of 2005.

And like most newbie bloggers, I had about five regular readers — my Dad, my sister, my best friend Desiree, and buddies Lisa and Lisa.

I didn’t know what I was doing, and that was actually quite refreshing. Ignorance was bliss.

At some early stage in the blog’s history, Andy Pels stopped by and left a comment.

He was funny.

Not my typical reader in a corporate suit, Andy was a self-proclaimed “fastener freak.” That is right, he sells screws for a living.

I kept writing my posts, and slowly but surely growing my audience.

Andy was always there to leave a lighthearted comment, or occasionally admit that I had broken through his tough guy exterior and made him shed a brief tear.

OK, maybe he never admitted that, but I am sure that he cried at least once while reading one of my posts.

If I ever made a spelling error, he would send me an email immediately.

“psst — it is nonexistent, not nonexistant

And if I flogged myself publicly for making a stupid mistake, he would tell me to get over myself and get back to work:

Maybe look at it this way:

What if you screwed up and nobody noticed because nobody cared what you had to say in the first place?

Get back to glowing about the NYT.

The only way I’ll be disappointed is if I hear one more reference to this little oops.

Do you hear me young lady? Not one more!

Andy P

Whatever the season, whatever the topic, Andy was always there to weigh in and lend encouragement.

When I held my book workshop in San Francisco, I got to meet Andy in person for the first time. He crossed over the digital divide with ease — same laid back person, same warm, personable and funny style. We learned that he is two weeks my elder (born in 1966), a fact he does not let me forget.

The next time I visited the Bay Area, Andy brought his family over to my Dad and Dee’s house, since they live just down the road. I saw new dimensions to Andy — the connected father, the loving spouse, the interested and supportive neighbor.

He brought over handmade biscotti. That he had stayed up making late the night before.

So in case I haven’t ever told you this Andy:

Thank you for reading my blog so religiously.

Thank you for taking time to comment.

Thank you for caring about me as a person.

Thank you for challenging my ideas.

Thank you for correcting my spelling errors.

Thank you for defending me from trolls.

Thank you for calling my BS.

Thank you for commenting on my kids’ Facebook pictures.

Thank you for really caring about everyone in the Escape blog community, and taking time to give feedback on business ideas.

Thank you for making me feel motivated to get up and write another post.

Whatever I did in a past life to deserve such a dedicated, supportive and ethical friend, I am thankful.

May you all be so lucky as to find your own Andy Pels.

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25 Responses to “Every blogger should have an Andy Pels”

  1. How could I have missed thsi (Andy!!) post waaaay back in 2011? Tahnks (Andy!!) for linking to it, Pam. Andy Pels – I remember you so well from my/our early Pam Slim days. It’s so nice to know how you and Pam have forged such a solid ‘live’ relationships that fastens the ‘virtual relationship. Hello to you from a fellow EFCN community member.

    • Andy Pels says:

      Hey, Jennifer! Yes, we rocked the ES101 forum back in the old days (2010), didn’t we? πŸ˜‰
      I just got your “fastens” reference. That’s really bad, so of course I like it!

      • Andy-rocker!!

        Yay, you got it. There’s a second – even worse one — in there. πŸ™‚

        • Andy Pels says:

          I am such a dope I just realized that those are intentional misspellings. I was very confused for a while there by the (Andy!!)’s. I first thought you simply lost your mind. πŸ˜‰

  2. […] your ass I have written about my dear friend Andy Pels on my blog. Andy refuses to let me do anything less than my best work. He actually pre-scheduled […]

  3. I have some regular “blog commenters.” I hadn’t thought about how improtant they are to keep our spirits up and to keep it going. a solild fan is worth a hundred lookey loos.

  4. Darren says:

    Nice heartwarming story! I wonder how he found your blog to begin with?

  5. Thank you, Pam, for writing this post – I’m in that newbie blogging stage right now and I very much feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, so I found this post very heartwarming, inspiring and encouraging.

  6. This is why you have an Andy. You are a Pam. Pams do things like notice the little things like moments and words and spelling (when it’s brought to your attention) and forgiveness (of self and others) and find the ability to get excited (endlessly!) about those things that excite others. It’s fun to be around a Pam. Kinda like contagious pom poms for traveling life’s road. Only with more brains.

  7. Abe Cajudo says:

    I cosign on the Pels homemade biscotti goodness. Seriously, who does that?? Andy, it was such a pleasure meeting you and your family over brunch that day. You give all of us young bucks a lesson on what “head of household” really means, in the blogosphere and in life. Thank you for all you do.

    -brown dude on the right

  8. very true. you are very fortunate. we all need someone like that right by our side. every blog has its share of such readers who are genuinely interested in the blog’s (and author’s) success. here’s to an Andy Pels for every blogger out there…cheers

  9. I am just about to close down my old blogs and launch a new one – I hope that I get my Andy Pels.

    Nice post.

  10. fas says:

    Your lucky to have a person to guide you and point your mistake all that often.

  11. Nicole Gruen says:

    I want your Andy Pels! I am born in 66, live in SF and rarely have a comment on my blog. I feel that I qualify πŸ™‚

    This is a great post and I am happy that you are grateful and appreciative. AND you would think that Andy would have a picture next to his comment by now.

  12. Andy Pels says:

    So many smart-alecky comments I could make…

    …but I’ll just say you’re very welcome, you make it easy, and thank you for so, so much in return.

    Now you’ll have to help me even more with my side hustle. Nobody’s gonna buy fasteners from some crybaby biscotti baker.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I just love it when a superhero has her own superhero with extraordinary living and loving powers! You both rock!

  14. What a lovely tribute to a great man! I will be on the lookout for my own Andy. And like Tia said, I want to be more like him. πŸ™‚

  15. Lisa Evans says:

    After 5 1/2 years, I’m still here and always will be. πŸ™‚ From day one in Suzanne’s class to right here and now, you inspire me, Pam. And Andy…what a lovely acknowledgement to a true fan and friend.

  16. Beautiful acknowledgment, Pam! Andy, you sound amazing. What a super appreciative and feel good post this it. I want to be an Andy Pels for people in my life πŸ™‚

  17. I’m so glad I stopped to read this post. I haven’t even finished before I scrolled to the bottom to post a comment. -trusting smile- Ill go finish it when Im done here.

    Have you ever been struck by immediate thoughts? The ones that flash as your reading something, see something, or hear someone? Fast, quick, and immediate.

    I had two.

    Right after β€œI started this blog in October of 2005.” I realized that I may have been reading you since the start. At least near the start. You can never know what you have stepped into when you start, and you don’t know where it’s gonna go. This is one ride I am glad I got on.

    Second thought: This is the lighting! Right after “…a self-proclaimed β€œfastener freak.” That is right, he sells screws for a living.” I had an epiphany. I may be meant to sell office supplies. Do people still do that? Are there office supply salesmen? Can I push them on Staples and OfficeMax? Maybe sit at someone’s desk at IBM and tell them about the latest pencils and notebooks. I can SEE my face lighting up when I talk about them. I get giddy just talking about it.

    Yes, yes.. this is quite random. But hey.. the important part is today, you can sit back and think, “I made someone giddy with my blog.”

    I better get back and read the rest.

  18. Nancy Davis says:

    What a beautiful post. I have actually just got my blog started and am still feeling my way around a little bit.

    I have been lucky to join a blogging group on Facebook and have some readers. I have three subscribers (but one is me so that may not count)

    It really was inspirational to read something like this Pam. I hope to have my own small community one day.

    Thanks for being a great example.