Mired deep in novel-writing angst

Still working on a book. I'm at the very beginning stages. It's not easy. Struggling, as always, to find the heart of longing: the thing that the character most needs; the thing that really really really drives them. Oftentimes the heart of longing isn't something that's ever articulated in a book. It's not the overt goal; it's instead the absence that the character is trying to fill by pursuing their overt goal. Very hard, finding the heart of longing. And yet it needs must be done.