Business of Scriptwriting

I became Ali Abdaal’s scriptwriter because of this

October 6th, 2023

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10

min read

A brilliant, terrifying realisation.

I arrived in London 3 years ago to start a job I didn’t care about.

0 direction. 0 long-term plans. Happy enough, but aimless.

But, last week, I left the city with a life that is almost completely unrecognisable…

I want to share this story with you because, across those 3 years, I learned something that’s equal parts liberating and terrifying:

Sometimes the entire direction of your life rests on your willingness to say “f*** it” at just the right time.

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A snapshot of my final scriptwriting session in London 🌇

1 year after arriving in the city and plugging away at my “normal job”, Ali Abdaal put out some job applications.

I’d only discovered his channel a few weeks before, but I applied on a whim.

Actually, I applied for 3 different roles.

“F*** it”, I thought. “I like YouTube. I can write. I once had a gaming channel with 1500 subscribers. F*** it.”

Despite having no real experience, I had a sense that “working for a YouTuber” was something that would suit me. I literally didn’t care what role, I just wanted one.

As the application process drew on, I spent more and more time imagining what this “new life” might look like, and the reality of my current employment became increasingly stark.

“What if, rather than doing 12-hour night shifts… I got to write YouTube videos for a living?”

The gradual breakdown of a man who hated his job 😵‍💫

Hilariously, as I started writing the tweet this newsletter is based on, I actually found some old diary entries from the time I was waiting to hear whether my application had been successful.

I was evidently in a melodramatic mood 😂

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What I didn’t share in my original tweet, though, was this pretty shocking extract that detailed just how apathetic I was feeling about my job at the time… 👇

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Granted, the 12-hour night shifts were a little atypical.

But wow. I was honestly shocked to see that I’d written those words.

The scary thing is, “living for the weekend” is a completely ubiquitous concept.

It permeates nearly every social circle I’m a part of and exists cross-generationally, too.

You probably know the feeling all too well, even if you’re fortunate enough to have escaped it by now.

Clearly, I wanted to leave.

2 months later…

The allure of YouTube was becoming more powerful every day.

The problem was, I’d genuinely started to convince myself that a job like “working for a YouTuber” was simply not something I’d ever end up doing.

I had 0 experience.

It sounded too fun.

Life didn’t work like that.

Then, inexplicably, 2 months later…

I got it.

(That ‘thing’ was: “do you want the job?” lol)


I’ll write another newsletter going in-depth on why my application was successful and how I’ve carved out this space for myself as a “Consulting YouTube Scriptwriter” in the years since.

But it’s not the point of this particular story.

Anyway, I handed in my notice, and my day-to-day life did a complete 180.

  • Night-shifts were now “flexible hours”.
  • Limited annual leave was now “as much as you want, just don’t take the p***”
  • Data entry was now “writing scripts for YouTube”.

I woke up feeling grateful almost every day.

But even that version of me wouldn’t have believed how much would change again after I went freelance.

1 year later…

Things keep getting crazier. Now:

  • I have a community of nearly 10,000 people across my platforms, just from “writing about writing”.
  • I get to choose my clients based on who I have the most fun working for.
  • I drunk-messaged Mr Beast’s manager and got left on “seen” (but then Mr Beast followed me a week later so… swings and roundabouts.)
  • I’m building an actual business, wtf.

And, most excitingly, I’m leaving London with my girlfriend (who I met just after moving to London) to go live and work in Europe for a while.

Because f*** it, why not?

So take this as a reminder that a well-placed “f*** it” could be all that stands between you and the start of an even happier life.

Of course, there’s a little bit of luck in every bit of fortune. But you’ve gotta be willing to grab it when it comes.

I’m endlessly thankful to 2021-George for saying “f*** it” at just the right time.

So I want to thank you for coming along for the ride Reader, and I can’t wait to ramp this newsletter back up again in the coming weeks ❤️

Speak soon,

George 👋

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