Here I come, to my sixth AtoZ Theme Reveal.
I can’t even believe it!
I’ve taken part – and survived – five challenges already. It’s a tradition that basically started with this blog.
As usual, I don’t feel prepared for the AtoZ Challenge in the least. As usual, I will still attempt it. I mean, what kind of April would it be without the challenge?
What is the AtoZ Blogging Challenge
In 2010, Arlee Bird set forth a challenge to all bloggers for the month of April to blog every day but Sundays.
Since most of the time, taking Sundays away from April will leave 26 days, which matches the number of the letters of the alphabet, Arlee also challenged his fellow bloggers to follow the alphabet. On 1st April they would blog about something starting with A. On 2nd April they would blog about something starting with B. And so on.
That first year, some 100 bloggers took part. But the idea proved to be successful. The number of participants grew every year, with a pick of some 1700 in 2012.
Why most of us choose a theme
Through the first years chance reigned. Everyone bloged about whatever they wanted every single day. But after a few years, the organisers introduced the idea of a theme. Not only bloggers would blog about a different letter on every specific day, but every post would also be related to the same theme.
This may seem to add a level of difficulty to the challenge, and in a way, it does. When we choose a theme, we are forsaking the opportunity to blog about anything that comes into our mind. Yet themes have proved to be very popular. It’s the sixth year I’m taking part, and I’ve seldom seen a blogger without a theme.
After all, Arlee set the challenge forth as a way to become better bloggers. Blogging every day for a long period (it isn’t just a few days, it is a month) will force us to devise a plan. We can’t suspend our life for an entire month. We can’t postpone all other commitments as we might do if the challenge only lasted a week. Our blogging needs to find its place and organizasion inside our normal life. We’ll have to find a way to decide what to write in every single post, how to set the time for writing, preparing and posting it, and then find a way to set aside time for networking.
It is a commitment. Not something that one just ‘tries out’ hoping that somehow it will turn out fine but a way to test whether blogging may work for us. I’ve learned a lot about blogging and about myself as a blogger from the challenge. Every year I learn something more.
Every blogger has a vision of their blog. Today, most of us blog about something specific. This is why, I think, the theme proved to be so popular. Linking the challenge to the overall theme of our blog will enhance the general experience of the reader.
It will allow us to offer our expertise, whatever it is, and it will allow readers to find us more easily. A reader may love my challenge, but if I usually don’t blog about the same subjects, that reader might never come back once the challenge is over.
My AtoZ Challenge posts are my most visited all year round.
Having a theme is also a great way to research the subjects we are passionate about and to enhance our own knowledge. Because we’re forced to come up with a subject for every single letter of the alphabet, we need to think outside the box. Very often, that’s how we learn the most interesting, unusual, weird things.
My 2020 AtoZ Challenge
I’ve taken part in this challenge for five consecutive years.
2015 – The Roaring Twenties
2016 – Jazz Age Jazz: early jazz as a social phenomenon
2017 – 1940s Film Noir
2018 – Weimar Germany
2019 – Berliner Cabaret
I think you can see that my main interest is 1920s social history. And considering this year we enter the Twenties again, what could my theme be?
LIVING THE TWENTIES
Although one hundred years now separate us from the 1920s, what originally made me fall in love with this decade was the fact that it sounds a lot like us.
The 1920s were years of passage. WWI had destroyed the old world. In the 1920s (as well as in the 1930s), people desperately tried to understand what kind of world they were living in now. They experimented a lot. They tried out new languages, new outlooks on life. Society and what was acceptable change in a way that often young people embraced, but older people feared. Life changed dramatically. What at the beginning of the century might have been considered fantasy or science fiction, in the 1920s was real life.
But the new world wasn’t all that easy to settle in. So many things were changing, and not least of all, the world was becoming more globalised. People moved a lot, also in response to the dramatic changes WWI had brought about. Coming in contact with different people and different cultures was one more challenge people had to face in a moment where there was no stability, no certainties anymore.
It’s sad to think that the Western World lost that challenge. Fear, uncertainty and the unwillingness to face what was new with a mindset of finding whatever good was in it, slowly led us toward a terrible catastrophe.
But in the 1920s, there was still that drive to find a new future. There was still the feeling that, hard as it might seem, in the end, all the new ways of life would be handled.
That’s why I love the Twenties. They sound a lot like us, and they were a time of hope still. I think they can teach us a lot about ourselves. Maybe they can teach us how to bring our Twenties someplace different.
NOTE: The Twenties was above all a phenomenon of the Western World, but it was influenced by events happening outside of it too, and in turn, it sometimes influenced other cultures.
Therefore, I will focus on the Western World in particular, but wherever possible, I’ll try to give a more global view.
Living the Twenties
A – Avant Garde
B – Breakthrough
C – Consumerism
D – Deco
E – Expression
F – Fashion
G – Games
H – Home
I – Isolationism
J – Jazz
k – Kitchen Appliances
L – Lost Generation
M – Minorities
N – Nationalism
O – Orientalism
P – Prohibition
Q – Queer
R – Refugees
S – Sanitary Behaviours
T – Technology
U – Unveiled
V – Vote
W – Women
X – X-Factor
Y – Youth
Z – Zeppelin
I love this idea!! Can’t wait to see what you share with us, Sarah!
And I can’t wait to share it with all of you… though, technacally, I’m still writing… errr…
I always enjoy your a to zs and I learn new things. My theme is my family in the 1920s, in Detroit. Very different from the lives you describe, but perhaps also reflecting movement and change.
I can’t wait to read it, Kristin!
It’s true that there is less focus on rural life in books about the 1920s, unless you go combing for it. I suppose that’s because the most change happened in the cities. But I for one am very much interested in what happened in rural area too. The 1920s were a very complex time, and we can’t really see it if we don’t have a global view.
You have such great themes! The Twenties are in my Top 5 of favorite decades. I would’ve loved to have lived back then. My theme reveal on my main blog will go live at 6:30 EST.
Thanks for visiting, Carrie-Anne! Can’t wait to see what your theme is!!!
Love this idea…I take to historical fiction to understand the past, so I will be looking forward to knowing the 1920’s through your posts! Best Wishes!!
When done with respect, historical fiction can be a great way to enter and understand the past 🙂
Yay! I’m glad you’re back! I’m looking forward to this! And I just downloaded your free short story :)))
Ah! I hope you’ll like it. You are among the firsts the get it 😉
My daughter is also called Sarah…I see this second connection after we both choose history…Well I will be looking to learning a lot from your posts. I’m not particularly a historian but I enjoy collecting stories about the past. I will have a lot to learn from you. Will keep visiting! Good luck!!
A Hundred Quills
I’m not a historian either, but I love discovery history and sharing what I discover.
Let’s rock this AtoZ with history!!
What a fab theme! I love the 1920s and I can’t wait to see what you’ll be coming up with. Happy A to Z 🙂
Hope my posts will be entertaining. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
If I could choose I time in which to live, it would be the Twenties. What a great theme.
My A-Z Reveal!
Well, we could argue that we are living the Twenties again. I’m so excited!
Fascinating and fabulous theme! As always . The only things I know about the 20s are what I have read on your blog over the years and from TV and Film. I very much look forward to your posts and all the intriguing things I have no doubt you will be introducing us to. Hope all the prep is going well.
Tasha’s Thinkings & Virginia’s Parlour
Aww, thanks Tasha. I am trying to do my tiny best to make the era know as it was, rather than how many people think it was.
Well, I am a history buff and I also love historical fantasy. This is going to be a lot of fun to read your posts. Looking forward. Best of luck.
Ah, Swarnali! You seem to be my ideal reader!!
Looking forward to this… your research and posts are amazing.
Thanks, Roshan. I hope my challenge will be entertaining.
Like everyone else I’m really looking forward to this. Can’t get enough of life in the 20s. Thanks, Sarah.
I can’t get enough of life int he 1920s either. I’m happy to see so many fellow lovers of the decade.
I, too, enjoy history as does my son. I’m sure to follow this blog through A to Z. Looking forward to it.
Hope you’ll enjoy it, Harvey. I’m always happy to meet a fellow history lover.
This will be fun, and educational, as I know next to nothing about the 20s! If I ever did, from school, I have forgotten!
I hope you’ll find something interesting here 🙂
I’m looking forward to your posts. The Twenties are a decade I haven’t really explored to date, and yet it was the decade in which my both parents were born. Now that we’re in the 2020s, it’s high time to delve deeper than just that “Roaring Twenties” moniker.
All the best! It’s my sixth year of the Challenge, too (though I started in 2013 and missed a couple of years in there).
The 2020 is a fantastic opportunity to rediscover the 1920s, I think. They are fantastic times, and I think we can learn a lot from them.
This theme is going to need a lot of work and I can see that we have a treat ahead of us. A century apart yet similar, now who would’ve thought? Excited to read your posts. All the best.
It is a lot of research. But I love researching 😉
I appreciate the quality of this theme reveal post. If your daily telling of life in the 20s this month is as detailed, I’m going to learn a lot. Great choice of topic!
I hope you won’t be disappointed 🙂
Well done! Music in these trying times–nothing better.
Thanks Jacqui. Hope it will be entertaining, and maybe a bit educational.
Great theme! Music, hairs, dresses, it’s all fun!
Well, the 1920s are great 😉
Roland R Clarke
I suspect I have followed your A to Z posts since ‘The Roaring Twenties’ and always enjoyed them, Sarah. I agree the period is fascinating in so many ways from culture to politics – films from the period hooked me in my youth.
I hit my sixth A-Z year in 2019, but pressure is forcing a change of direction. Yes, I agree when you say, “Having a theme is also a great way to research the subjects we are passionate about and to enhance our own knowledge”. All my past entries were chances to explore rabbit holes – mainly linked to my writing. But I’m taking a lazy approach this year, although I will post something………………………..
Changing is one fo the best things we can do. Exploring new ways and maybe find out things we never expected.
Have a great AtoZ Challenge, Roland!
(Hey, I think we’ve followed each other from the beginning!)
Great theme. Looking forward to reading more.
Thanks for stopping by!
Wow!!What a delightful theme..Waiting to read the posts.. Am sure they will be interesting. See you around…All the best for the writeups..
See you around. And have a great April!
It will be fun to see the similarities and the differences between the 1920s and 2020s. Weekends In Maine
I see a lot of similarities. Sometimes, upsettingly so.
I always enjoy your A-Z posts.
Remember the Weimar one and the Film Noir with special fondness.
Look forward to reading. All the very best!
Ah! Weimar is indeed particularly close to my heart. I’m trying to be as international as I’ve never been with this. Not easy, but I’ll try.
Can’t wait to read your challenge too. I’ve always enjoyed your themes.
The pictures you have chosen are so cool by the way! And the thought, considering what’s happening in 2020 right now is so on point. All the best for AtoZ.
Happy you find my pic cool. Findign good pics is time consuming, but I get a great feeling for the time, and so I hope it will give the same feeling to my readers.
I’ll se you around. Have a great April!
6th year! That’s so cool, Sarah! I have been following your AtoZ series since 2017 and your posts have been truly enlightening and insightful for me. Looking forward to your posts this April and knowing all about Living the Twenties! Cheers!
This is one of the things I enjoy of the challenge. We meet people, we create a bond and sometimes that bond lasts for years, even if we only meet in April.
I love it!
Anne M Bray
Oooooh! Can’t wait!
My A-Zs: Back ends of trucks (4th year) https://annembray.wordpress.com/
“Stitching the World” A-Z (embroidery project) https://repeatsamb.blogspot.com/
Thanks for stopping by. Yours is one of the most unique themes I’ve seen!
What a great theme! I must have missed your posts before somehow?? What the heck?! I’m in now 🙂
The AtoZ is awesome like this. There is always something to discover 😉
I’m really looking forward to this adventure.
Thanks for stopping by. Can’t wait to start!
I’m writing about the 1920s as well. Actually it’s historical fiction based on my family but with names changed, starting in 1915 in rural Victoria, Australia, moving to Melbourne and then to outback Queensland. It finishes around 1932, mainly because I will have run out of letters. I am looking forward to learning more about the ’20s in your posts.
I’m so happy you’ve found me, because this way I’ve found you too!
M Denise C
A most awesome theme reveal post!! Have a wonderful challenge!
The same to you! We’re getting near!
Thanks for stopping by
Prof. K.V.S.S. Narayana Rao
Good theme. You can think of things like houses, cars, railway transport, buses, radio, hotels, films/drama, medicines, educational institutions, ships etc. to depict living in 20s.
I am trying to document IE practice in Top Global Engineering Companies. #AtoZChallenge April Writing
Industrial Engineering Practice in Top Global Manufacturing Companies – Top 100
Wow, yours sounds like a very demanding AtoZ Theme. I’m looking forward to your posts.
Joy Weese Moll
Great theme. Starting the centennial of the 20s makes this perfect timing.
I’ve almost always written about the 1920s during the challenge. This year I had contenpled WWI, but since we’re in the Twenties again, I really couldn’t choose a different topic 😉
What a great theme! I’m a history buff myself, so I’m looking forward to your posts.
Thanks so much for stopping by, April. Always a pleasure to meet a fellow history buff 😉
Wow sixth time huh? That is so impressive!!
Your entire theme over the years sounds so interesting!
Can’t wait to read more
See you around 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by.
I’ll see you around. We’re almost there!
I am so intrigued by your theme. Will be looking forward to your posts on April 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. I’m looking forward to your theme too.
What a wonderful idea for a theme! I can’t wait to read your posts as I find that era fascinating. Though, yes, I will be writing about ‘retro’… you will be going back a little further than I! LOL Thanks for stopping by Not Just A Coffee Mom… will be back in a few days to visit!
We’re almost there! I can’t wait to read your posts 🙂
Such a detailed and interesting theme reveal. This is such a cool topic. I am looking forward to read your posts for the whole challenge.
I hope you’ll enjoy it 🙂
Indeed one of the most unique theme I have come across. I’ll surely be coming back for more.
Oh, thanks, Surbhi 🙂
To me, it is my usual theme, so it doesn’t feel unique at all. LOL!
Thanks Sarah for visiting my blog and showing the interest in my posts to come.
Congratulations Sarah on successfully completing the challenge, not once, not twice…but good 5 number of times! And its your 6th year!!! All the best for that.
Reading through your post, I got pretty involved in the topic, making me grow fonder for 26 posts that you would be sharing in April. Meet you again at A to Z trail in April2020.
Happy A to Z challenge to you!
I can hardly believe this is my sixth year. I remember the first time I took part, I hardly knew what I was doing, having started bloggin only months before. But it was the challenge that tought me a lot about blogging, and it’s still one of the higest moments of the year on this blog.
I’ll see you around. We’re almost there!
Can’t wait to follow this series Sarah! I love the 1920’s
I hope you’ll enjoy it, Shirley 🙂
What a wonderfully put together reveal post about an intriguing topic! I’m looking forward to learning more about that time period..
I had great fun writing the challenge, and I’m still learning so much about the 1920s.
Hope you’ll enjoy it.
What a fascinating theme!
Thanks, Bev 🙂
Will look forward to your posts. The 1920s was a time of great change as we are going through now. Thanks for dropping by my theme reveal post.
Thanks for stopping by, Suzy.
Tomorrow is the big day. Can’t wait!
Amazing choice of theme. Really looking forward to your posts. 🙂
The challenge is finally here!
Hi. This sounds really interesting. Hopping to A right now…
Hi Nimi. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Melanie Atherton Allen
What an interesting overview of the history and development of the A to Z Challenge! And you’re right– themes are amazingly helpful, and I can’t really imagine doing a themeless A to Z (which is why I am not myself A to Zing this year–no theme!!). I’d be interested to see someone try to do a themeless A to Z, though; I wonder if a sort of theme would emerge over the course of the challenge.
Huzzah, the Twenties! Can’t wait to see where you go with it this time!
I’ve only seen a few themelss challenges in the years I’ve taken part. Can’t say I ‘followed’ them, because I felt they were so all over the place that I wasn’t really engaged and so I wasn’t encouraged to visit back.
But it may be that a challenge that storts off themeless, then settles on ‘sort of a theme’. That’s an interesting thought.
I’m looking forward to learning more about that time period. I felt they were so all over the place that I wasn’t really engaged and so I wasn’t encouraged to visit back. I wonder if a sort of theme would emerge over the course of the challenge.it was the challenge that taught me a lot about blogging,
Love the fashion of the 20’s but glad I live now! I’ll be interested in what else you chat about 🙂
Hi AJ 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.
I mostly blog about the 1920s, my favourite periode in history and the time all my story are set.
Please have a look around. I hope you’ll find something else that you like 🙂
Visiting from the A to Z Road trip. I hope to read all the posts for your challenge, Sara. Unwrapping
Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I’m so behind with the Road Trip, and needs to catch up with so many blogs.