I took a gig as a screenplay reader for a reputable and long running contest. I had heard more than once from successful TV and film writers that work reading screenplays had helped them along, so when I saw the job posting, I jumped at the chance. I had to do sample coverage on a feature-length screenplay to get the job, and I’ve been reading steadily since.
I find it strangely enjoyable. Bad is bad, but for the most part, the scripts I’m reading usually aren’t bad (surprise, surprise). Folks tend to understand the craft, and there’s no lack of talent and voice. I’m scoring on a scale of 1-10, basically, across multiple categories, and I would have predicted 4 would be the average score, but it’s more like 6-7 is the average range, and you have to know what you’re doing to land in that range. 8s are rare, and I haven’t read anything that seemed like a 9 or 10 yet. I imagine those are few and far between, and I can give myself a stomach ache worrying about whether my own work can reach my standards for a 9.
Although I’ve always wanted to be a writer and won’t ever stop writing, I do enjoy reading and doing coverage. I imagine I’d be quite happy working on the development side, as discovering and helping to shape a great project is probably almost as good as creating one yourself.