A former intern of mine has been working on a script and is just sick of it. It's his first feature screenplay and you can tell it's put him through the wringer. He even said he hates it. He wanted to pass the finished version to me, since I had provided feedback earlier in the process and he had promised to show it to me.
It sounded like he's ready to put the script on the shelf and move on to the next screenplay idea -- and forget all about this tortured project.
More seriously, he was questioning his ability to write at all. Perhaps he should just give up on screenwriting. He wanted to know if I thought there was a spark of potential in his writing (as demonstrated in the script) or was his work crap.
Here's what I told him. Maybe it will help you keep moving forward through the re-writing process:
I know what you mean that you hate the thing. Writing is not easy and many writers struggle with their work. The good news is that hate can help you in the re-writing process, since if you don't love every word, then it's easier to edit and cut as needed.
While I don't know what sort of process you've had up to now (i.e. how many revisions, how many other people have read it, etc.), the re-writing process is as important -- and often longer -- than the original writing of the screenplay.
For instance, my filmmaking partner Ben has been working on a script, literally for years. He had drafts done before we started shooting In-World War and it looked like he would actually shoot it before we did. It's not been on the shelf by any means. He has been re-writing it and tweaking it all along. It's been optioned twice now and with luck it will get made in the next year or so.
You know the saying in screenwriting: writing is re-writing.
I say all this because -- even though I haven't read it all yet -- I still think you should not abandon the script right now. Unless you've already done a ton of re-writing on it and really really think it's unsalvageable. Even in that case, it would be an excellent assignment to try to improve it.
In Hollywood, most screenwriters pay the rent re-writing other scripts. Knowing how to identify weaknesses and how to pump up the stories and characters -- and above all keep audiences on the edge of their seats -- is a crucial skill that will help you on your re-writes, be them for your work or on the work of others.
As for whether it's worth your time to continue writing in general (as an avocation and/or hopefully moving toward a vocation), that's entirely up to you. Your first scripts will not be as strong as your later scripts, which will be much weaker than your further work. Every writer will tell you that, particularly in relation to their first screenplays. That's true in any artform. The only thing I can tell you for sure is that few people write great scripts when they start.
Screenwriting isn't genetic. It's not "jedi blood" or some innate bullshit. It's a skill you work at and learn and fuck up and fail and learn more from and grow, like anything else (cooking, engineering, drawing, driving a bus, whatever). The only way to have it be part of your life is to do it.
And yes, most likely your early scripts WILL suck. That's very liberating, since you won't be expecting greatness. You can focus on fucking up and learning from it.
My early work does suck too. I wrote a couple of plays in college that make me cringe to think about. I never even finished my first official feature screenplay because I was so lost. And I think my next script after IWW is already much much much stronger and tighter even though I've not written the dialog yet and have just been focusing on the characters and story outline.
I hope that's helpful.