I would do a lot of the same things:
1.) I would concentrate on short fiction to get my feet wet and learn my craft. Heck, I'd do that MORE than I did before. There are so many more opportunities for short fiction these days.
2.) I would still write ten stories before I tried to do anything else.
3.) I would still take the top three stories of that ten and send them to magazines, and as I wrote more, I would try to keep stories on the desks of my favorite editors.
I would do some things differently:
1.) I would take all the things I didn't send to magazines and publish them on my blog, or find some other online amateur venue for them -- guest posting, blogfests, contests, forums, online aggregators, even Twitter poetry. This is the equivalent of street busking for a musician: you get out there and you perform and you learn what gets people's interest, and you learn to ignore the hecklers, and who your audience is.
2.) As I said above, I'd do significantly more with short works. I would treat it like a job, and challenge myself to write a story a day as O. Henry did -- or at least a couple a week. I'd make myself write a microfiction story or five haiku on my lunch break. This is something I used to do once in a while when learning, but there wasn't much use for the output before. Now there are all of those amateur venues online. You need material for that. Write it.
I would call that an apprenticeship, or an internship. You don't get paid for it, but you gain tons of experience which allows you to beat the competition in a real job.
3.) I would set a goal based on the items above -- publish X number of stories in real magazines, write 300 shorts or poems, achieve a certain number of blog subscribers; something measurable -- and when I had achieved that, I would then look over my body of work and start self-publishing it. I would not only be confident of my skills, I would have 300 frickin' pieces of work to start with. I could explode out of the blocks like a thunderbolt.
That's what I would do if I were a young student who hadn't written much of anything yet, but wanted a road map to publication. Or at least I'd start with that plan in hand. Everybody is different, and most of us will eventually find our own path, no matter how and where we start. The thing about a map is that it gives you confidence. It's a safety net.
It's too late for me to do that full-throttle now. I have too many other irons in the fire -- too many novels, too many things in progress. But I'm definitely doing it in bits and pieces, because that's not just how you build skills and knowledge, it's also how you build an audience.
See you in the funny papers.