Don't really know about the rest of you, but about now I need to recharge my batteries. From time to time, I think we all need to recharge our batteries. We can get caught in a rut, and forget why we carve. We can make more promises than we can easily handle, even if they're only promises to ourselves.
We carve because we like to carve. It's enjoyable. It's a break from our responsibilities. It's fun. It's an outlet for our need to make something. It lets us be creative.
I think that carvers are sharing people, and as sharing people we get great satisfaction out of sharing our carving. Some of us enjoy participating in wood carving shows, craft shows/sales, exchanges, swaps, roundups, and other activities where there might be an obligation to produce wood carvings. Me, I like to participate in all the above and I especially like to help others discover wood carving. I like to write about it. I like to teach beginners the basics of wood carving. All of this is fun. But I still must occasionally slow down, and "smell the roses".
So that said, grab a cup of coffee, some Basswood, your favorite knife; and go outside in the shade and get to whittling and carving. My favorite area is on the swing on the patio in the shade. There's two bird feeders and one bird bath within ten feet of me. It's quiet, with only the birds singing. As I start roughing in a Gnome, I'm always amazed at the beauty of a curl of wood rolling off the full piece, as the result of a sharp knife slicing through the wood. As I progress, I am always amazed with the intricacies of the actions of my hands while holding the wood and the knife. When you slow down, blot out all distractions, and just carve you will see how everything thing you do with your hands contributes to the carving. The way you hold the wood and hold the knife have results. The way you move the knife blade into the wood makes a difference, just as the way you move the knife makes a difference.