Brigette, this is an excellent question because frankly for many pro screenwriters, a script is ‘done’ only when the people to whom it’s owed pry it out of our hands. At some point, you just have to go with your gut. You *have* to put it out there. Please don’t take my post the wrong way and have it contribute to your perfectionism (I have that, too) squashing your creativity and productivity. The simple fact is my script was *not* ready to go out. I should have seen that, but was blinded by a series of factors, not the least of which I was new to the craft.
For writers who have yet to obtain representation, this is less of a concern. If a script goes out and doesn’t generate interest, there’s no real downside in industry circles. You write another spec script and hope for a better response the next time. If, however, a writer is IN the Hollywood system, the development community is actually small (relatively speaking), so if something happens in Burbank, a minute later people know about it in Culver City.
So again, don’t take this message in any way, shape, or form to dissuade you to put your material out there if you’re trying to break into the business. That’s the opposite of what I’m intending the original post to convey. Yes, make sure you’ve rewritten the script to the point where some professional readers give you a thumbs up, but then don’t allow perfectionism to keep you from sending out the script. You can’t hit a home run unless you swing the bat.
Here’s a blast of creative juju to fend off those perfectionist voices!
Good luck with the writing!