My Dream Journal
I created this group as, even though there are already groups for people who dream, and dream lucidly or vividly, I saw none for people who keep track of said dreams in a journal. Seeing as there are numerous websites where people may keep journals of their dreams (including this one!), I thought this might be useful.
Dream journaling is apparently something that's interested me from a very young age, as I've found numerous attempts I made at keeping track of my dreams over the years, dating back to my early adolescence. I have pieces of lined paper separated from notepads with dates scribbled on them, and brief accounts of dreams dating back to the early Nineties. I have fat little notebooks and skinny little notepads filled with my attempts to keep a coherent dream journal around 1992. And I have other, loose pieces of paper with more detailed dreams, including rough drawings, dating from 1995. I even found a list I'd made of the titles of memorable dreams, only a few of which, unfortunately, I still recall to this day. (I guess that back then I found them so memorable that I thought for sure I'd never forget them!) And in my head swirl dreams of indeterminate date spanning back to my childhood, mostly nightmares which have likely changed much in the telling over the years but still stick with me.
Despite all this, all my attempts at trying to keep a dream journal for more than a couple of months failed miserably. Keeping track of one's dreams can get tedious--they're fun to look at in retrospect, but making yourself write down all the details at the time can be excruciatingly dull and time consuming. Plus I was just a kid and did have better things to do. My attention span and patience never lasted long enough, thus I never managed to keep a dream journal for long. As a result, all my dreams prior to 1996 are scattered throughout the years.
This changed--somewhat--with an experiment I determined to undergo when I was in college. I decided, for some forgotten reason, to attempt to keep track of EVERY SINGLE DREAM I could remember for a span of exactly one year--August 1996-97. The difficulty of this was mediated in that I would simply jot down notes for the dreams I remembered every time I awoke, then later in the day I would describe the dreams in as much detail as I could remember into a tape recorder. At some future point I would then transcribe them onto paper. I also intended to make sketches of what I could in composition books. As I said, I don't remember why I decided to do this, I just did.
Well...it was still quite tedious. Many were the times I'd finish jotting down my notes, get comfortable in bed to go back to sleep, and then remember yet another detail and have to get up and jot it down as well. Just as frustrating were the times when I would get out my tape recorder, only to find that I barely remembered what I'd written down in my notes at all. Sometimes I was even so tired that I wrote down gibberish. Seeing as I refuse to state with 100% certainty anything I'm not sure of in my dreams (such as the exact speech someone gives), I would find myself saying a lot, "I'm not sure" and "I don't know" and "It might've been..." I hated being so wishy-washy--I wished my dreams could be put down in the way I'm used to writing things, like fictional stories where the author KNOWS what they're writing and what's going on--but I just couldn't do it. Dreams aren't as clearcut as fiction or reality.
At the end of my experiment I ended up with over sixty 1-1/2-hour tapes and four composition books filled with sketches. These I put away for almost a decade as I was literally sick of the entire thing. A couple of years or so ago I finally dug out the box of tapes and began transcribing them into notebooks; this took quite a while as well. Now the notebook transcriptions are being typed to computer, as time allows (which is very slowly), and posted to a dream journal that I've since started online.
I discovered a dream journal site several years ago and, drawn to its LiveJournal-esque format and the ability to choose different symbols and factors relating specifically to dreams (such as how lucid the dream is, how coherent, if it's recurring, etc.), decided to join. I already had a good number of dreams to post, seeing as I'd been keeping track of some of them since around 2000, on and off, at a website that had recently gone defunct. (Thankfully I'd thought to save all my dream-related posts before then!) I posted these dreams, as well as ones that I still occasionally decided to type up, and now and then I also add some of the older ones which are still being typed to the computer. It's interesting to see which themes recur (such as a series of dreams I had about my old cat after she died), and to look back and even see dreams that I completely forgot (such as one about two giant towers made of clouds, dating from July 2001). I even have the account of the first lucid dream I ever experienced--and the first (and so far only) adult-content dream.
Nowadays I keep track of my dreams only randomly, whenever I find one interesting enough to bother typing up, especially if it has to do with Mackinac Island. (I like keeping track of those dreams.) I can sometimes go for a month or more without sharing one, but it's no big deal; keeping track of one's dreams should be enjoyable, not tedious, as my yearlong experiment turned out to be.
I currently have over a thousand dreams in my online journal, and with luck, time, and patience, the number should increase greatly in the future.