Pete Has Been Very Creative: My personal website is finally here

Persistence does pay off.

Persistence through pandemics and irritating housemates and endless technical problems is bloody hard work.

But as long as you don’t stop… you do eventually get there.

And I am so very overjoyed to be there now.


It’s been seventeen months since my last post on this blog.

In my last post I was bemoaning how stressful I was finding the building of my three websites.

Three websites I have now pretty much developed to the point where they can go live online.

I Built My Own Education – My MTA Portfolio website – went live at the beginning of October.

Not Your Average Life Coach – My life coaching website – will go live shortly.

And this website, Pete Be Creative, went live this week.

It’s actually the second time this website has gone live.

The first time was in March 2019.

The original version had basically no content on it and it had only three sections to it – this blog, an About page and a Contact page.

It also had a completely different name – The Pete Less Travelled.

That original name is the reason I ultimately pulled the website offline and went back to the branding drawing board.

I originally called my personal website The Pete Less Travelled as a reference to the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

In particular it was a reference to the final three lines of the poem…

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Which I interpret as breaking with convention and taking a stroll outside of your comfort zone, which is very representative of what I have been doing in the majority of my pursuits.

Such as I have done in the building of my very own master’s degree, which ultimately became my MTA Portfolio and then I Built My Own Education.

However, after I had assigned as the url of the site and I had a bit of time to see it up on the original version of this website, the more I realised it was the wrong name for my personal website.

For three reasons…

  1. The inclusion of the word “Less” made the whole name come across as quite negative. Opposed to being an outward looking and open-minded name, it had the feel of something that was inward looking and repressive.
  2. The spelling of the word “Travelled” was also very problematic. I’m British, so I spell “travelled” the way it is spelt in British English with two Ls, but, if you look at the original poem, you’ll see that it is only spelt with one L, which is how you spell “traveled” in American English. This was a problem because what if people couldn’t get to my website because they were typing the url in wrong? What if I had to literally spell it out every time I told someone the address of my website?
  3. “The Pete Less Travelled” sounds like the name of a blog, not of a personal portfolio website for a creative professional. While the original version of this website was just a blog, I had always planned for it to be developed into a full-fledged portfolio website.

So I started to brainstorm names that would be more representative of the actual nature of the website and of the person it was a personal website for.

Pete Be Creative was an instant hit with me.

It’s absolutely me, because I am creative in EVERYTHING I do.

It’s short.

It’s sweet.

And it’s a bit quirky because it’s not quite the way you would say someone is creative, if you said it out loud. So it still has a bit of the convention breaking “going my own way” intention of The Pete Less Travelled.

It also works perfectly as my social media handles, which I changed as soon as hit on the name.

And, unlike The Pete Less Travelled, Pete Be Creative feels very open-minded and outward looking.

So I purchased the url, hooked it up with this site and continued to develop the web pages and their contents.

Then I stopped working on this site throughout the second half of 2019 so I could focus on earning money.

I was putting money aside so I could move to a new house. Living with my former highly neurotic and chronically nagging housemate was making my blood boil.

Then I wanted to find the right place to move into which, in Bristol, with its housing crisis, meant that I spent five months looking for a new house.

However, at the beginning of 2020, I jumped back into website building, mostly on this site and Not Your Average Life Coach.

Right on the eve of the COVID national lockdown I finally moved into my new house, which was wonderful.

Then I spent the entirety of my lockdown working on I Built My Own Education.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I spent my whole lockdown – even after my lockdown – working on it.

I Built My Own Education is MASSIVE in comparison to this site, it has over a hundred pages, with most of those pages having huge swathes of content and information on them.

Overall, Pete Be Creative is incredibly simplistic in comparison.

It does not have that many pages and each page does not really have that much content on it.

I originally had the idea to create a personal website all the way back in 2012 when I was working on my BA (Hons) EYES web series project.

EYES originally included a video-centric website that I was going to build on WordPress using an external hosting provider, just like how I have built my current websites.

It was this experience that first got me interested in building professional websites.

Ultimately, I never ended up building a website for EYES due my other bachelor’s degree final year commitments eating up all my timeand enegry.

But the idea of building a website for myself that would collect together all my projects and focuses stayed with me.

After I graduated, I returned to the concept and started to outline some ideas.

In 2015, I had a stab at making a personal website using WordPress’s platform.

This is how, the very first version of my personal website, came into being. was a storyboard of my entire body of work.

Each square was a link to a different page that would detail a specific part of my portfolio and that portfolio included everything.

And when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING. also included the different concentrations of my MTA Portfolio… and the more my MTA Portfolio expanded and multiplied, the more became bloated.

Visually, the main page of looked really interesting.

But the more stuff I put on it, the more it became overwhelming to take in and really confusing to get your head around.

Also, I was starting to have problems with the name

It made sense to give the website my name, because it was a personal website for me.

But the name shares a similar problem with The Pete Less Travelled, there is two ways you can spell my surname.

There is O’Brien and there is O’Brian. Quite often, I have to remind people that my surname is O’Brien with an “e.”

Also, is it O’Brien with or without the apostrophe?

The name just created too many problems!

While I was casting a critical eye towards the name of the site, I was also starting to see that I had a website that would make a hell of a lot more sense if it was two websites.

This is how I Built My Own Education, as separate and unique platform that housed my MTA Portfolio, was born.

Later, when I started life coaching in 2017, it is also why I very quickly decided to make Not Your Average Life Coach as another separate and unique platform.

The main incentive for having a personal website is so that I can network with a striking calling card site and create new professional opportunities out of my versatile expertise.

With this goal in mind, from an end user point of view, what my personal websites should really be is just a brief overview of all my specialties and projects.

It’s a business card, it’s not an archive.

This is why the current home page looks the way it does, it’s an interactive business card.

I abandoned because my personal website – as the front page of my career brand ecosystem – needed to be clean, uncluttered and simplistic.

From 2016 onwards my personal website was envisioned as being minimalist and that is why I always intended to get this site finished and online before the other two.

As a minimalist website with only overview content on it, Pete Be Creative would be much less work to do and be much quicker to finish.

Hence why I originally planned to finish this one first.

But I’m actually glad I got I Built My Own Education done first because, in many ways, my MTA Portfolio is the backbone of everything I am doing.

Certainly, it contains the bulk of focuses and content that were originally on

My MTA Portfolio has cultivated my career design and a key part of that career design has been the development of my websites.

So my websites grew out of my MTA Portfolio and it makes sense that this site would grow out of I Built My Own Education.

Building I Built My Own Education first further simplified the development of this site.

I have quite a vast postgraduate and undergraduate body of work and it wasn’t until I had fully established the page structure of I Built My Own Education and decided what elements of my overall body of work would go on that site that I could concisely see what needed to go on this site.

It was surprisingly simple for me to decide on the page structure of this site; as well as what bits of content to include and what new content I had to create.

The reason why it has taken me an additional month to get this site into a launchable state is because of my film portfolio.

Going into the building of Pete Be Creative as a portfolio of my work, I always knew that my film content would be included.

However, I never intended to include the full breath of my film content and my reflective commentaries surrounding it.

This is why, throughout 2015, I started to put my film portfolio onto my film-focused blog, Something to do with Film.

The problem – as I discovered when I dusted off my blog at the beginning of this month – was that I hadn’t actually finished that process of putting my film portfolio on my blog.

So I had to jump back into finishing that process.

This has included the writing of several new posts, the editing of multiple showreels and the uploading of videos on my YouTube channel for embedding purposes on my film blog and this site.

Once I had Something to do with Film in good shape, I came back to this site and wrote the brief overviews of my filmmaking practice that link over to the larger pieces of content and commentary on my film blog.

I’m actually glad that I did not finish putting my film portfolio on my film blog back in 2015, because getting back to it now has reminded me of where my creativity started.

It started with film, because it is something to do with film.

And that something continues to thrive and expand.

I Built My Own Education and Pete Be Creative are now online, with Not Your Average Life Coach following shortly.

Throughout the whole teeth grinding process of building these bloody websites, I have been very creative.

Now I can see how I can carry that creativity forward and how that creativity will carry me forward.

We always think that persistence is a hard thing.

But it’s not.

It’s actually a really easy thing.

It’s just being creative.

And I love it.


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