The first variable stars that I observed were well-known stars like Mira and R Leonis. I would also observe the occasional bright nova or supernova. In 1992, two events happened that greatly stimulated my interest in variables: the discovery of Nova Cygni 1992 and an outburst of SS Cygni.
The outburst of the bright Nova Cygni 1992 (V1974 Cyg) in February, 1992 was the first time I had a chance to observe a naked eye nova. This nova reached 4th magnitude in brightness and faded very slowly, remaining visible in binoculars or a small telescope for the next 3 years.
The dwarf nova SS Cygni had a bright outburst in June, 1992 which I discovered by accident. I was using the comparison star sequence around SS Cyg to estimate the brightness of a nearby comet. The first night I did this, SS Cyg was in quiescence at 11th magnitude. A week later, I observed SS Cyg again and noticed that it was in full outburst at 8th magnitude. I was so impressed with this star, I observed it every clear night for the rest of the summer. Since 1992, I have made over 1200 visual magnitude estimates of SS Cyg, the most of any variable in my program.
These two stars influenced my observing program more than any others. I resolved to observe as many classical and dwarf novae as possible. So far, I've observed over 100 of each type of nova.
To round out my program, I also observe some of the brighter Supernovae and many Novalike, Z And, R Crb, Mira, Semi-regular, Eclipsing and other miscellaneous variables.
Listed below are links to pages for some of the many variable stars that I've observed.