Between Writers And Pen Pushers

Between Writers And Pen Pushers

The world we live in is an evolved world of true things, things that have to be true to be real.  If you agree with me, there is a huge difference between a writer and someone who merely scribbles words on a sheet of paper, a pen-pusher.

The difference between writers and pen-pushers is likened to the difference between a leader and a boss.  A small paper signpost on one of my bedroom mirrors read:

The boss drives his men, but a leader inspires them;

The boss depends on authority, but the leader depends on goodwill;

The boss evokes fear, but the leader radiates love;

The boss says I, but the leader says we;

The boss shows who is wrong and apportions blame, but the leader shows what is wrong and corrects it;

The boss knows how a thing is done, but a leader shows how to do it;

The boss demands respect, but the leader commands it;

Therefore, try to be a leader, not a boss.

There is no true leadership in Nigeria.  On hearing this, one would think that maybe I’m pessimistic or I am one of those people wey just dey talk and soon stop.  The fact is that truly seasoned men and women of recent, contemporary descendants of this country have said this.  From the words above, one can conveniently say that we have Nigerian bosses at the helms of affairs who only know how to boss us around, and who would fight tooth and nail to maintain their stance.

A Pointer newspaper reporter made an erroneous mistake by likening himself to a pen-pusher.  This means that he would just scribble words on paper to please a particular reading audience, just for the sake of his personal survival.  I would have said that all reporters are pen-pushers, but I would be making a terrible mistake myself.

A writer is a person who brings up (a) salient issue(s) and researches evidence(s) to back up this or these issue(s).  A pen-pusher is more or less a people-pleaser and someone who harmfully circumvents the rules and regulations of spelling, grammar and punctuation.  He tells all and sundry about his perennial starvation in life and even displays the degree of that starvation in the presentation of his words on paper.  A true writer is a well-researched thinker, while a true pen-pusher starves his brain and wants by all means possible to satisfy his stomach, forgetting that the stomach remains in perpetual garrulousness if not controlled by the brain.

The words of a writer jump out of the paper to confront the reader, thereby surprising that person.  The writer may have a particular audience in mind when writing, but his duty is to make sure that his words and what he has said are both without age.  A pen-pusher is dutiless, that is, not dutiful.  A political thug hires his services because he can get him cheap.  One has to feed words to a pen-pusher because if left on his own, his words and what he has said would ache the eyes of the reader of sound mind and intellect, and ordinary people would only have their eyes fed.

If I can make a direct comparison with the signpost I illustrated above, I would definitely say that a writer is a leader while a pen-pusher is a boss.  Hear the legendary Peter Tosh:

Everyone is crying out for peace

No one is crying out for justice (2x)

I don’t want no peace

I need equal rights and justice

I’ve gotta get it

Equal rights and justice

We need equal rights and justice

Having peace alone isn’t it.  Peace alone can be tampered with.  If the right thing is done all the time, peace will definitely come and that peace will be maintained and preserved for a lifetime to come.  Several notable pen-pushers spread around newspapers and magazines like a virus.  All you have to do is read them.  May your eyes ache!  I can definitely say that pen-pushers have contributed to the minus-zero reading culture in Nigeria.

True writers do not blow their trumpets, and I guess very few of them have trumpets to blow.  A writer is a dark horse, while a pen-pusher is a glorified pimp.  If ever I personally drift into pushing pen on paper, scold me!  I wish not to waste ink.  Thank God it is only a drift.

So, I sincerely wish that Pointer reporter to retrace his steps and correct that statement he made.  Note this, though: The tail-end of a recently televised, Africanised Guinness advert (which I have recently seen on several billboards and heard in a popular FM radio station) says: “There’s a drop of greatness in every man, yea.”  In a way, this statement goes for pen-pushers as well, but who would you rather be?



20 thoughts on “Between Writers And Pen Pushers” by Emmanuella Nduonofit (@Emmanuella-Nduonofit)

  1. A writer!
    Very insightful, Emmanuella.

  2. THIS IS CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Em, how ‘crazy’ is it, Presido?

      1. Exceedingly so!!!

        1. Em, no vex, Presido eh, but that’s not good enough. I’m ‘Olivia’ Twist, I want some MORE, if there IS more for me to want,hm. So, c’mon, out with it!!!! :)

          How ‘exceedingly crazy’ is ‘this’?

          1. Emmanuella…wetin i do you….ehn?!?!

            Why you just like to dey torment me??? Because i left mercy back at Aro abi…? I for don send am to you!!!!

            1. YOU’VE LEFT NURSE MERCY!?!?!?
              WONDERMENT OF ALL WONDERS!
              LOL

              1. Wetin come be ya own now?!?!?! Ehn?!?!?! I just wanted some time away from her constant ‘bumping’ and ‘inserting’…which one is your own?!?!?!??!

                1. My constant ‘bumping’ and ‘inserting’ abi? U no say eh, Presido, wetin u just talk now na anoda matta be dat, o! It stirs up the midsection of our anatomy, and that spells slight disaster… ;)

                  1. And besides, Mercy is one person I’m beginning to miss here in NS.

  3. Emmanuella, you have made a solid point.
    So am guessing tis that pen-pusher reporter that got you this revved up, no bi so?

  4. I wish I can get a hold of that Pointer publication..lol. Your points were well articulated mastress. The most striking to me though is our lack of leaders in Nigeria…how sad.. and BTW, I will most definitely rather be a ‘writer’…Well done!!

  5. Mazi Nwonwu (@Fredrick-chiagozie-Nwonwu)

    Nice analogy Emmanuella, but since a boss can also be a leader, what’s with a penpusher as boss and writer the leader. Lost me in a maze there. Well, I will read again. How u dey.

    1. I also thought the same; about a boss also being a leader but I let it alone since I got the point she was trying to make.

      1. Fred, I concur with that issue of a boss also being a leader. Yes, that’s true, very.

  6. Abbylistic and Merciful, the thing is that The POINTER newspaper is a Delta State-owned newspaper outfit located in its capital city (which is really a small town) and I once worked there on casual employment as a proofreader for just two years. This non-fiction is officially the last one I’m posting here in NS, gals (and guys), and all my non-fiction write-ups posted here were initially written when I was working in that newspaper outfit. The kind of readership here in this small town is just newspaper, hardly any books around (new ones, anyway, even old ones). Most of the bookshops are grossly bereft of books (even textbooks), and there are so very few bookshops, hence little or no literary activity here. I’m talking about inside the small town itself, the capital city of Delta State. So, readership is minus-zero here.

    Therefore, my creative writing skills were kept on hold, but I started to run almost ‘mad’, so I had to venture into this non-fiction, writing reviews and opinions and publishing them in this newspaper. I didn’t write much ‘cos the atmosphere in this newspaper outfit was ‘morbid’, too much ‘politics’. But this is what one does after school and youth service: one hustles. I’m a hustler now.

    So, Merciful, I very much doubt that you can lay your hands on that Pointer publication I mentioned. E tey well well, o! :) So, Abbylistic, at that point in time, yes, I was so revved up! I got cheap popularity from what I wrote. I guess that’s just the way it goes,hm.

    1. Oh, and let me add this just for ‘little’ measure: There’s this guy whom I’ve just recently accepted his friendship on FB called Benjamin Penpusher. I just wonder what he’ll say when he stumbles on this little piece of mine,hm. :) I even almost wanted to reject (ignore) his FB friendship offer,ah. :D

  7. The truth told…..gbam!!!

  8. Would have really wanted to disagree with you and look for your trouble small. But you’re absolutely right with this article. Really enjoyed it. You reminded me of Julie, a popular columnist some time ago. Was really into her till she got married. Very good stuff. So my mastress, am I a writer or a penpusher?

    1. Jay, who do YOU think you are between the two, hm? Try answer that question yourself, ok. :) Could you also be an ink-stainer, hm? ;) Or are you just using your fingers to write on the sands? Remember the man who built his house on sand, hm? ;) Hey, I asked you that question, ok, so don’t throw that question back at me! ‘Tief’ anoda people answer, you hear? :D

Leave a Reply