Last year, Academy Award nominated screenwriter Josh Olson created a lot of controversy when he wrote a blog titled “I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script”. It may strike many as crass or even outright rude but only if you are not a writer, and by “not a writer” I mean maybe you even have written a couple of scripts but you have no clue how it all works, how hard writing really is and how much your scripts actually suck.
Olson makes a great case for why reading scripts from people in your social circle can be so damn challenging. Most people, no matter what they say, are not prepared for you to be honest and if you are going to read something and be asked to give notes, opinion, advice then it is an exercise that will require several hours of your time, time that you might gladly spend if you knew you could say what you really think without worrying about how it would be received but you know that is not the case. It is a complete losing proposition.
In the writers group I’m a part of, we still run into folks who can’t handle the truth and that is why we are there. Worse than that are their peers who fail to give an honest critique because they don’t want to hurt the feelings of the writer they have become friends with and, when that happens, everyone loses. So the moral of the story, grow a sack, work your ass off to write great and when you ask someone to read it, come with a notebook, buy them a drink and ask them to tell it to your straight. Then be ready to here the truth. They’ll be shocked.