For me, buried treasure is usually the stuff of metaphor. But I was thrilled last week to hear about some real buried treasure: a spectacular hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold found in an English field by an amateur metal-detector enthusiast.

It’s by far the largest such hoard ever found, with some 1500 objects, including elaborate war helmets and garnet-studded scabbard bosses and stunning filagree rings. The pictures that have been released are breathtaking — worth a look if you haven’t seen them! Experts say the hoard will rewrite the history of Anglo-Saxon art and culture.

But among all this glitter, what also caught my eye was this detail: The man who found the hoard had been metal-detecting for 18 years.

What kept him at it? The hope of a great find, certainly. But judging from interviews, what also mattered was the camaraderie of his fellow enthusiasts, and the pleasure he took from the smaller discoveries along the way.

Which made me think of us writers.

Part of what draws us on is the hope of creating something truly wonderful. We dream of books that are extraordinary, that are celebrated and cherished, that may even change the world in some way large or small.

But what keeps most of us in it for the long haul are the daily things: The friendships we’ve made, the insights we’ve had, and the love of the work itself.

And with that in mind, I’m off now to dig and delve and take today’s small steps forward. Here’s hoping you’ll come, too.