This is from chapter 56 of Wild Mind, "Whales."
Natalie Goldberg says: "The problem is that there are no good maps for the journey of a writer; each one goes it alone. Ultimately, that is always true, but it would be good to hear accounts of the process, so we know others have walked the path."
This is the reason that I read a lot of how-to books. I find that the writer writing about writing often says more about themselves than writing.
Every writer had a "first sale" story. There's a hunger among beginning writers to know and to find out just how it's done. And maybe later in the writer's career they'll be a break point, or a dark night of the soul. A much more personal moment, one where writing becomes something more than just a paycheck. Robert Silverberg's transformation from hack writer to Grandmaster as detailed in Science Fiction 101 is a perfect example.
I read how-to books to see another writer's path, not so much as a road map, but as an adventure story. How those story ideas formed, how that first sale was made, how chance brought an agent around are all more interesting than how to format a manuscript or how to develop interesting characters.