Writing is an individual journey. You can gain from the experiences of those that have gone before, but you cannot repeat them. Each path must be the “Road Less Taken.” You are the only person that is journeying down your road. If you are following the crowd, then you are already off the mark.
I know a man that finished his first book in March and had it in the book stores for Christmas. His unique journey included meeting a publisher at Karate class. That does not mean writers need to flood the local gym, but the thing that can be gained from his experience is that you have to be prepared. He had a finished manuscript the day he met that publisher. Is your manuscript ready?
There were a couple of country fellows that had a small, local radio program. The program grew and grew. Eventually, an editor from a large publishing firm heard their program and drove down from his big city to talk to the guys about writing a book. Most writers are unable to get their own radio program, particularly one that is large enough to attract the interest of publishers, but the thing that can be learned from these guys is that if you are doing the thing that you LOVE then it will grow and spread and open doors of opportunity.
One blogger that I heard about wrote a personal journey about her struggles with an illness in the family. She was not alone in her struggles and many people flocked to her site. A publisher found about the high traffic and approached her about a book deal. Not all blog owners can draw 15,000 unique visitors PER DAY to their personal blog. The thing to take away from her experience is that all blog owners can write something that touches the hearts of the readers.
The journey for your writing has to be unique to who you are, where you are and what you are passionate about. You can learn from the experiences of others on their writing journey, but you must blaze your own trail.