It's not like I have control over every second of my dream. It's that I run through cycles of control, awareness, and obliviousness. Sometimes two of the three. You might think control and obliviousness are mutually exclusive, but oh no, they actually go together QUITE well.
To explain how things go, think vaguely of Inception: dreams are limited in scale. When I encounter the 'edge' of a dream, something redirects, shifts me, to take me back in. The first two or three times this happens, my subconscious automatically will write a justification for it, so I remain unaware. But I'm perceptive enough that in my dream state, I will eventually catch on to my self-deception, and inevitably, realize the truth.
Now, when I am aware I am in a dream, one of three things will happen: I will 'wake up', and unaware, still be in a dream, simply in a layer higher. At some later point, I'll fall into a deeper layer again. Sometimes, intentionally so: I'll be like, "it's still late at night, I need to sleep" and go deeper, unaware I was still asleep and wasn't awake in the first place. But often, accidentally. This is occasionally HELL, as I've documented at least once on my blog. Thankfully, it is often spliced with the other two. The second is, I will begin to actively influence my environment: what most people consider proper, actual lucid dreaming. But the thing is, eventually, my focus shifts and I lose control, and I'm back to having that hyper-awareness of my surroundings, yet not that I'm still in the dream. I 'forget'.
And, yes. That forgetting? Happens just as forgetting a memory would in real life. Or a skill. It's something that was there, but suddenly, or gradually, disappears, until it isn't there anymore. Returning me to this state where I'm hyper-aware in a super-realistic environment...albeit one with some fantastical elements, where the dream has limitations which it will inflict to steer me in a certain direction.
The third and final thing which can happen when I gain control is that I willingly enter a deeper layer. The current layer being tainted by my awareness, I go to sleep in it and enter a realm where I have less control.
This can happen an upwards of 20-40 times that I can consciously count upon waking up. Who knows how many times it ACTUALLY happens. Butyeah, needless to say? The experience--no matter what--will leave me, upon waking up, feeling tired, as if I didn't finish sleeping, because in a way...I didn't. I was too aware, too in control, and thus, my mind was active during the time it was supposed to be inactive.
Thus, hatred of lucid dreaming.
Of course, it DOES have its benefits.
Namely...last night, I was suffering from some preeeeeeeetty severe writer's block. HOWEVER, in my dream, at least once, I actually worked on the thing I was stuck on. Of course, upon waking up (well, long before then, thanks to dream shifts and lucid awareness), I knew that the work I had done didn't exist. But because the work had been mentally done in my dream...
...It's gotten me unstuck in real life. (Helps that I may have drifted directly into that world once or twice--not exactly sure if I did, but it's definitely plausible, considering the whole world was spawned by a dream in the first place!) So, I owe my lucid dreaming (albeit lucid dreaming that left me tired upon waking up) for my renewed energy to write.
...Of course, there iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis the slight inconvenience that is me being on the wrong computer right now. See, the work I'd be doing on that project is done on the desktop, which my mom is currently using. In her defense, I am up way earlier than normal, thanks to a 9:30 dentist appointment, butstill. As of this sentence, it's almost 11:30, and she's still there as far as I know.
All the same, I am undeterred. As long as I can keep my energy, as long as I can keep myself hyped up, as long as I can keep the image in my mind, as long as I can feel that energy waiting to be released, I will be able to continue with the writing. Now, there's no guarantee of this. I DO lose my strength sometimes. But in general, overall? I'm actually fairly good at getting things to rotate through my mind for exactly as long as I need in order for them to be written down.
A tangent from that is, of course, that when I LOSE my work, I frustratingly am most likely not able to recover it because I'm literally pouring the knowledge of my brain into the words I'm writing, dumping it in front of you, such that it drains from my memory into nonexistence in any form except words that can be lost, but usually, that can be helped by the mental exercises I do to retain this knowledge in the first place.
You know, the whole inventory process I talk about. It's sometimes used in the form of a checklist, or multiple checklists. Sometimes to the Mambo-5 (I actually know that song's name now!) tune, though not necessarily so. (1, 2, 3-4-5, 6, 7, 8-and-9. A change from the default lyrics, but one which allows a convenient way to remember ten items with near-perfect accuracy. I use it every time I am to lifeguard, to make sure I don't miss any item.)
It doesn't have to be a checklist though. The important thing is that I rotate, continuously, through the knowledge, and invoke every possible sensory experience for a split-second, in order to perfectly capture that thing I want to remember. Sight, sound, touch, emotion, thought. Usually not smell or taste, though the knowledge of what emotions the thing is evocative of, and the thoughts being used, help.
And note that I have to sometimes do this on multiple layers just for a single thing. Namely, in a story. I must keep track of all the sights, sounds, physical feelings, emotional feelings, and thoughts of a character, plus any of their surroundings...and then, on top of that, I must keep my OWN of all of those, when applicable. The more detailed I can get, the better the moment is captured.
I'd describe a current example, but, well...again, I'm kinda waiting for the right computer, as to allow me the chance to do it, and if I were to describe things further, I risk losing the moment. (Heck, even this much is a bit risky!) Soooooooo...while this blog is a good insight into my mind, this is as much as I can really say.