Lino Rulli and the Quest for Perfection

On today's show, Lino Rulli mentioned that he found yet another grammatical mistake in his upcoming autobiography Sinner (preorder links at the top and side of this blog), and how it frustrated him.

He wanted to be the one author that didn't have those kinds of mistakes in a book that he spent so long working on. On the surface, it's easy to dismiss Lino's contempt for mistakes as foolish. "What's wrong with you Lino, stop being such a perfectionist."

I initially thought that, but then took the time to think of my own life. How many times do I strive for perfection, fail, and get annoyed by it. True, I don't have an autobiography coming out in the next few months, but I design the bulletin for Fr. Jim's campus ministry each week, and when there's a flaw, I get so frustrated. True, most people don't care that one photo has part of it's caption in bold while the other does not, but I see the mistake as something I messed up. I see the mistake as a flaw in my work, which eats away at me until I create the next bulletin.

How then is Lino any different from me, or the person who panics that the cupcakes they made for guests didn't turn out 100 percent correct? Or the soccer player that scores two goals but whifs on the third and focuses only on the miss? He's not any different than someone who loves and cherishes what they do each day.

If anything, hearing Lino's complaints about bad grammar makes me even more anxious to read the book. If he spent that much time worrying about grammar, how much more did he worry about the book's content? This is a man who spent Christmas break in a monastery just to write.

If that commitment to excellence doesn't excite you to buy the book, then you must hate literature.

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6 Responses to Lino Rulli and the Quest for Perfection

  1. It is true, Dustin. I understood his annoyance completely. I spent ten years as a journalist at a small newspaper, nothing makes you feel more sick than to see something in print that you laboured over contain (what is to you) a glaring mistake.
    Still, he was able to find a way to grow from this experience. God has a way of teaching us humility if we accept that lesson. Good job, Lino! (And great post, Dustin!)

  2. Eric says:

    I listened to this part of the show on the drive home today. At first I thought "stop whining" then thought "oh my, I'm exactly the same way."

    This is one of the things I love about this is entertaining, yes...but it also connects us all as "Sinner's" striving for perfection.

    Interesting I just said that, I'm probably Lino's only atheist listener :)

    Also Dustin, I didn't know you did the MSU bulletin for Jim, just checked it out...great work!

  3. Janet says:

    I am *exactly* the same way. The three lines of code that DON'T work or had a typo, missing } or whatever will bug me for far longer than I will remember the parts that DID work. (Add the "analness," (pardon my English,) of a programmer with the nit-picking of being a gets ugly =-S )

  4. I cannot wait to read this book. I plan on highlighting every typo and mailing the book back to him!!!!

  5. Thanks Eric! It's my labor of love: and it frees up a few extra hours for Fr. Jim each week!

  6. I did not find any typos, but I'm not the best person when it comes to perfect comma positions and grammar. But it read fine to me.