"I'll never be able to write as well as (insert successful author here)."
It's a lament I've heard time and again from fellow writers, and echoed myself more than once. Sometimes, as writers, we feel humbled in the presence of greatness. And to some degree, that statement might be true. You'll probably never be able to top Harlan Ellison for visceral emotion, no matter how hard you try to emulate his style.
In fact, it is that kind of thinking that can hobble a writer's imagination and shackle his growth. Writing is a uniquely personal experience, an outpouring which fortunately gives back more than it takes away. Becoming a successful writer means exploring, culturing, and magnifying your own unique voice. While it's true that your early, stumbling efforts will probably bear little resemblance to what flows from your fingers after a few (or many) years of honing your abilities, I believe that finding your writing voice is really a gradual process of learning to adapt your own ability to communicate so that the potential story you carry inside you can be brought out in a way that others find interesting, entertaining, and stimulating to read.
Getting to that point is what this thread is about. Others may feel free to contribute their own insights into the writing experience and to share those techniques and observations that they have found particularly helpful to honing their craft. The "Tactics" portion of the title is intended to represent that publishing, like it or not, is a business, and that creating the perfect manuscript does not guarantee financial or even personal reward. As such, there are a great many "do's" and "do-not's", and some skills not even remotely related to writing that will nevertheless be invaluable in your task of placing a manuscript within easy reach and view of an interested editor.