“If Ya Wanna Send a Message…”


Picking a Blog Name, Part Five

(To read Part One, click here)

The old movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn is reputed to have snarled at a screenwriter, “If ya wanna send a message, use Western Union!” And yet so many of the greatest storytellers (novelists, filmmakers, playwrights, songwriters) do send messages.

The key, I think, is that their messages don’t just “sit” on their stories like rodeo riders atop bucking broncos; they move with them, are, in fact, inseparable from them. Woody y Buzz-815582What would Les Miserables be without its message? Or To Kill a Mockingbird? Or The Color Purple? Or even Toy Story?

Not only can stories deliver a message, I would argue they’re the best way to deliver a message. Because in a well told story listeners not only hear but experience the message. And experience, as the saying goes, is the best teacher. Hence, this blog site’s subtitle is The Power of Story.

But power to do what?

Power to change. Our beliefs. Our commitments. Our actions. Like any powerful tool, Story can be used for good or for bad. In his book Mein Kampf, Hitler used it to speak lies into people’s lives, lies that led to the deaths of millions.

Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.Instead, I will continue, as best as I can, to use the power of story to speak truth into people’s lives (including my own), truth that brings life and purpose, rather than pointlessness and destruction.

I was originally going to call my site Don’t Read This, You’ll Only Encourage Him. On second thought, maybe I should have called it,

Read This, It May Encourage You.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to “If Ya Wanna Send a Message…”

  1. Gary Fultz says:

    One word can be powerful if you know the story behind it…Love the subtitle “The Power of Story”
    ME: I was once introduced, before speaking, as a legendary storyteller looking for a few listeners (by an ex-friend)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: The Power of Story | Mitch Teemley

  3. I agree about the message needing to be woven into the story. I remember some awful TV series in the late 60’s/early 70’s that would pause in the middle of the story to have a character give a little sermon about what we should be getting out of the episode – VERY annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bill Sweeney says:

    So true, Mitch. Children are transfixed by a good story – adults are, too. You’re a great storyteller.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. revruss1220 says:

    Your blog posts are a regular source of encouragement for me. Thanks for persisting!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mitchteemley says:

    So glad to hear that, Russ. It works both ways, my friend.


  7. So true, Mitch. Like in the sales profession, the screenwriter, novelist or whomever has to bring the audience through the entire logical process that leads to the “epiphany” of the message. The more subtle the journey toward the message, the better the screenplay or novel. Sorry, sounds like I’m pontificating. It’s just meant as IMHO. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There’s a reason Jesus used parables to spread his message!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennie says:

    I am a firm believer in the power of stories. I’ve witnessed (and spread) their magic for over 35 years. Thank you, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We all seem to have an emotion that allows all to react almost universally. Why have a story without a message? Or. Is that possible?. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. smzang says:

    “Read This, It May Encourage You.”


    Liked by 1 person

  12. ldtynan says:

    What a great blog post!!! (All 5 of them).

    I’m right at the junction of changing blog names, looking for something with more depth, truth, application etc…

    This has been really encouraging.

    Thanks Mitch- alaneous!

    Liked by 1 person

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