The ability to write is something that some people are born with. However, many people need to practice writing on a regular basis in order to get good enough to be published and make a living at it. If you ask 10 authors how they developed their writing talent, you may very well get 10 different answers. This is because certain methods work better for certain authors. With that having been said, there are several methods that have proven successful in helping a large number of authors like Daniel Handler get better. Here is how to develop your writing talent.
Write whenever you can
Like most things in life, you will never become a better writer unless you practice writing at every opportunity. Authors such as Handler have let everyone know how much practicing helped his ability to write, allowing him to become an extremely successful author. Ideally, you should set a time aside for yourself to write each day. While some days you will need to change your schedule, you should try to keep it as consistent as possible. Write about whatever you want during this time. Try your hand at various styles of writing and different genres. This will allow you to get a feel for what you enjoy writing.
Get lots of feedback
The only way for you to tell if you have truly progressed as an author is to have your writing read by people you respect and trust. These people that you ask to evaluate your writing should not be close friends and associates. They should be people with a background in writing. If you know any authors who have been published, it would be very useful to have your work read by this person. Ask the people to make detailed notes as they are reading your book. What do they like? What did they hate? How do they think the overall narrative could be improved? The reason you do not want to have your close friends or family giving you feedback is because they will never want to criticize your writing or discourage you in any way. They only have your best interests at heart. Therefore, they will always tell you that your writing is good, even if they do not think it is. This type of feedback will not help you. Getting constructive criticism from people you respect will allow you to get to the point where a publisher will sign you.