• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




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    Thread: How Long Have You Been Dream Journaling?

    1. #1
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      Question How Long Have You Been Dream Journaling?

      I'm curious how long everyone has been dream journaling for...

      Do you use different formats as well? Any fluctuations, trends, idiosyncrasies, etc?

      I've been dream journaling since March of 2013. I pick out journals that I like and then write dreams or fragments when I remember them. I tally the amount of dreams remembered, the amount of days in which I remembered something, and the amount of days encompassed in the dream journal in total (for example, 65 days with dreams out of 90 calendar days that journal was in use). I've just started my 13th dream journal. I've written approx. 1,400 dreams. I've also transferred everything to Google Docs in case anything were to happen to the physical copies, and I've started transferring some to DV as well, just to experiment with posting my dreams on a social forum and to interact with them further.
      Feel free to share!
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      I've been noting down my dreams since 2016 purely because I love how entertaining and weird they are. I hadn't even heard of lucid dreaming until January this year (well, the idea of it being real and actually a learnable skill!) so now I'm recording them every night to build up better recall.

      My current system is to write them in a notebook during the night, then the next day I'll type them up and stick them in Evernote. Then I review any key themes, dream signs and look at things like what lucidity techniques I tried before sleep.

      I love waking up in the morning and being amazed by what my subconscious thought up! Even without lucid dreaming it's fun. I can imagine that being present in them is just awesome! I'll get there soon, I feel it's coming
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      I also use Evernote, it's amazing!! For both my dream journal and the waking journal - I like to be able to correlate what's going on in my waking life because often it affects the dreams in powerful ways that we don't realize until we can see them juxtaposed. Though these days the waking journal really is more about my ideas and how they're evolving - anything that happened that I think might be relevant to the dreams I just include in the DJ now.

      And like you both said (rshort, a little hard to tell, but I think that's what you're doing?), I first jot rough notes in a bedside notebook that I later try to decipher onto the computer.

      I also use Evernote to work out my big involved posts before dropping them in here, refining them from a rough draft stage I suppose. It's great for that. But now this is sounding like a commercial.

      As for when I started - I really started the waking journal in the early 90's, like 1991, which is when I decided to go back to school and study art. In fact my first journal entry was a simple note that I had ordered some college brochures to decide what school to go to. I was beginning to wake up I think from the deep sleep I had been living in and raising my consciousness in certain ways, starting to take control of my life. Not sure exactly when I started writing the dreams down, but I think it was around the same time, at least occasionally. I'd need to dig through the box of notebooks and check.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-02-2019 at 04:15 PM.

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      Since I was younger.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      (rshort, a little hard to tell, but I think that's what you're doing?)
      Sorry that was unclear; I do jot down notes, usually on my phone, right as I wake and remember, then write the full, detailed entry in my dream journal before of after work. I then go back and type the entries into Docs whenever I have time. I also write notes on correlations between dream elements and waking life happenings. I’ve considered a waking life journal, but it’s never come to fruition...
      Also, did you say you have a physical dream journal, or is it all electronic?
      Last edited by rshort1202; 03-02-2019 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Addition

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      Oolally,
      So you’ll wake during the night and write the dream down?
      Also, I remember how exciting it was when I heard about lucidity and then watched my dream recall soar.
      Last edited by rshort1202; 03-02-2019 at 08:03 PM. Reason: Addition

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      Quote Originally Posted by rshort1202 View Post
      did you say you have a physical dream journal, or is it all electronic?
      Originally it was only written in notebooks (paper notebooks) – I didn't have a computer until I had been journaling for a decade. And even then I kept just writing it in notebooks for a long time - in fact I didn't start doing an electronic journal until I got here (Dreamviews). It was probably then that I started the system I use now, of jotting just notes on paper, and then writing it up in more detail on the computer.

      In fact now after typing it up on the computer I'll tear out the pages of the paper journal and burn them. I have a nosey roommate who once stole a volume of my journal.

      And whether I plan to type it on the computer or not (I usually do) I'll always recite the dreams to myself in my head, but in words as if I'm telling it to somebody, before I get out of bed. That pulls it through your conscious apparatus and imprints it into the conscious mind. If I fail to do that it remains just vague images and feelings and then I can't remember it later. Especially if I wait till after I've done other stuff in the day - that will often drive any memories right out of my head.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-02-2019 at 10:19 PM.

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      Interesting, Darkmatters. I can't believe someone would steal that. I also can't imagine not having my physical copies. They seem sort of sacred and an extension of myself. On the other hand, they are starting to take up some space... I can only imagine a decade's worth. I'm worried that dream journaling may slowly fall out of my routine in years to come, even though I imagine that I won't be able to stop since I've started. Has it ever fallen out of your routine in that long of a time span?
      I agree; I have to recite the dream mentally as I'm going to write it or it will be overridden with other thoughts and all but disappear.

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      Well, he's a manipulative narcissist - I wrote about him a lot and he couldn't resist reading it. He also couldn't resist saying little things about what I had written in there, even though he denied having read it. Sort of like a Bond villain who needs to explain the evil plot. Now I have a padlock on the door of the room where I keep the journals and always lock it if I leave or when I'm sleeping.

      I actually have 2 decades' worth in notebook form, all in one box, that takes us just about up to when I started posting in here. To keep them organized I had to go through and write the start and end dates on the cover of each notebook, as well as keywords for some memorable highlights that happened in each one, so I can quickly go through and find particular volumes. Somewhere in here I posted a picture of the box filled with notebooks, but I have no idea where. I might take another one and post it in this thread.

      And yeah, from time to time I don't write anything, maybe for a month or two at a stretch sometimes, but I always get back to it when something interesting happens.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 03-02-2019 at 10:53 PM.

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      Today marks one month of DJ entries.

      It's a pretty good read already, though.
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      That makes more sense now. I like to be open to the idea of freely sharing my dreams, though I'd rather someone ask than forcibly read them.
      I too write the start and end dates. I hadn't thought about writing highlights, but that might be a good idea...
      I'm glad to hear they pretty much always come back.



      Lenscaper, I love reading through my old volumes of dreams. It's amazing how well I remember dreams from years ago.

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      Quote Originally Posted by rshort1202 View Post
      Oolally,
      So you’ll wake during the night and write the dream down?
      I naturally wake up after what seems like my 2nd, 4th (+ maybe others) REM cycles. I've done that for so many years now and always felt like I was a terrible sleeper, but now with lucid dreaming it seems to be an actual benefit which is cool!

      DarkMatters ah Evernote is an extension of my brain - I have folders for everything from work, to creative ideas, to books to read... I haven't yet organised myself properly but I want to create a set of tags to label my dream themes and signs so that I can quickly see which ones are more numerous.

      Part of the appeal of writing it in Evernote is so I can easily search them and that they're backed up, however, I do love the idea of having a lovely big physical book that I can write in and treasure. If only there was enough time in the day for both
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      Haha I hear you! I like to search every now and then to discover new things I can do with it. I like to create cross-links for instance between the dream journal entries and the waking life entry for that day if they're relevant to each other. I can tell you how to do that if you want to know. I also sometimes like to write something up in one notebook and copy it to another so it exists in both. And yeah, I have maybe dozens of different notebooks and stacks of them for all my various creative writing and study purposes.

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      Originally my dream journals were part of my waking-life diaries. I kept them off and on starting late in 1992 when I was a kid. These were all on paper until the late '90s when I had a suitable personal computer, at which point I usually wrote on the computer because typing was much faster and less physically fatiguing for long periods than handwriting.

      Around 2005 I suddenly decided for some reason to give a good-old paper journal another go for a while. Apparently I wanted to relive some childhood nostalgia, I guess. After a while, though, doing so much manual writing about my waking life and dreams was getting to be too time-consuming and tedious for my taste, so I moved to a computer document for dreams, since at the time I was getting especially interested in dreaming and lucid dreaming and dreams were starting to take up a pretty good portion of the daily entries. This is when my dream journal first became separate from my waking-life journals, and it remains so to this day. Meanwhile, the paper waking-life journal I had started lasted a little over a year before I finally decided I had had enough of handwriting and once again developed a new computer journal and switched over to that.

      I've had quite a number of waking-life journals over the years with all sorts of experimental formats and organizations which would take a whole series of articles to explain. The dream journal, once I separated it into its own document, remained fairly consistent until I developed a new, custom-tailored journal system and migrated all the entries over. I eventually transferred over all the dream entries from my previous WL journals into it, then I added several handy features. This is the system I use today.

      My DJ activity has waxed and waned over time. The biggest peak to date was 2015–2016, in which I wrote half of the total number of dream entries I have from the entire 1992–present period! (2005–2007 was the second biggest; that was when I first discovered DV.) Over the last couple of years, though, my interest has been dropping (hopefully not permanently, but lately I've been more preoccupied with waking-life matters for whatever reason), and thus the entries have gone down quite a bit. But I still take the time to record particularly interesting dreams that I don't want to forget whenever I have them.
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      TravisE,
      It seems like the electronic format is pretty popular. I will say that I do get a little fatigued when writing lengthy dreams. I'm am grateful for the time that I have in which I can write my dreams. Typing them can still take up time, but I suppose it's a labor of love.
      Any ideas why 2015-16 was a prolific time for your dreaming? Its intriguing, too, because I had an abnormally high recall in 2015...

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      Well, after I had stopped visiting DV for some time after 2007 or 2008 or so, I kept doing LD stuff to some extent, but it was on the back-burner for quite a few years. Around the 2015–2016 era, I finally realized I didn't seem to be making much progress in LD development after all that time, so I decided to come back here to see if there was any new advice or even old advice I had missed or forgotten about. I found a lot of really cool discussions and points of view I never considered before, so that started an unprecedented wave of interest.

      The reason for my downturn recently is probably a combination of factors. First, I reached a point where even typing dreams was taking a few hours oftentimes (though still nothing compared to what handwriting would take, especially when changing my mind a zillion times on how to word something like I always do!), and eventually I just started getting tired of it. I didn't want to stop DJing altogether, but I cut back and started prioritizing on which dreams I considered important enough to record. Although all of my dreams are interesting to some extent, I found when reading my DJ that not all of them seemed quite interesting enough to be all that exciting to read about again. Also, aspects of my WL have gotten exciting and interesting, stealing a lot of my time and attention and reducing DJ priority even further, and finally, overall activity here has gone down a bit since then, and there doesn't seem to be nearly as much really intriguing, though-provoking discussion of the sort that makes me excited to go back to sleep and try out some of the ideas shared. Plus, my interest in this topic is probably just going through its own phases, just as my other interests tend to do. Probably I just need a bit of a break from it all for a few years, and then hopefully someday I'll come back to another, even bigger and more exciting peak.

      Then again, the fact that I'm still here (as opposed to having stopped visiting altogether for quite a while before in the early 2010s) perhaps means I'm not at such a “low” point after all. But undeniably my DJ activity has sharply dropped over the last year or two, though it's not zero.
      Last edited by TravisE; 03-04-2019 at 11:51 PM.

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      Hey Travis, have you considered using some kind of voice-to-text app? Just talk to your computer and it will write it up? I don't know how well they work, I think you'd need to do some editing here and there at least. But it could cut out a lot of time spent typing. I know I can make my computer read articles and things and i can choose between different voices, but I haven't messed with voice-to-text yet. I know there's an app called Dragon that does it, but that's top of the line and probably expensive. I'd try out some freebies first or just read up on which ones are worth it.

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      I have briefly played around with the text-to-speech thing in Android, but haven't been terribly impressed yet.

      First, I haven't found the accuracy terribly great. (We're talking about dreams here, in which anything at all can happen, so this is especially critical: If I see something really strange in the transcript, did I really say that and did that actually happen, or did the text-to-speech thing misunderstand me? Dream memory usually doesn't last long; I don't want to risk my DJ being corrupted by undetected errors.) The Google Keep app in particular is really bad about cutting me off before I can finish if I pause for so much as a quarter of a second—and I'm not particularly fast at producing speech; I need time to think, especially dealing with something as tricky to remember and explain as dreams can be. So I consider that unusable for this purpose. Android's speech transcription also doesn't automatically handle punctuation and such at all, nor is correcting errors convenient, so to get writing of a suitable quality I'd have to probably spend more time editing than it would save.

      But the stuff I record when I first wake up isn't necessarily what I want in my dream journal anyway. I think of it as just a quick, disorganized dump of my thoughts that I can do quickly and then return to sleep or whatever I need to do. Later on I clean it up and type a more coherent account when I'm more awake and in a better state to reflect on and analyze the dream's content. I have used voice recording for the initial notes for a while, and having a generated transcript alongside it would in principle be handy to refer to (it's quicker and more convenient than having to listen to the recording), but I've found the mobile software generally too problematic to be worthwhile, and the accuracy concern still comes into play. Plus I'd rather not disrupt my sleep having to be futzing around unlocking my phone, fumbling through the irritating and clunky touch interface, or any of that nonsense. A simple device like an good old tape recorder that I can operate at a moment's notice without much thought or even having to open my eyes is best, I think.

      Even if there was speech-to-text that was perfect for the typing stage, I'm not sure if it would be best for me (at least not without a lot of practice) since I rarely word things ideally on the first attempt. I'm guessing I'd have to go back and edit stuff anyway to the point that I'd negate a lot of the time savings. Also, I often simply can't think fast enough to keep up with speaking; 100 wpm or so typing seems to be a more ideal rate.
      Last edited by TravisE; 03-05-2019 at 02:56 AM.
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    19. #19
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      Thanks, that was a very comprehensive review! I've thought about it several times but never tried it, and I think you've just convinced me not to. I suppose I could live with no punctuation, it works for the self-generated subtitles on YouTube videos, but of course there you can also hear the people talking, so that gives you a good idea of what the punctuation would be. And I see what you mean about hard to detect errors. Especially if it's a big block of text, I tend to just rapidly scan it and could easily miss many kinds of subtle errors. If I'm typing I can always feel when I messed soemthing up and just go back and fix it.

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