Okay, first: TO BE A WRITER, ONE MUST WRITE.
To which I will add: TO IMPROVE AS A WRITER, ONE MUST LEARN AND PRACTICE.
However! There's a social element that has been helping to get my work published, and it's gotten me a job as an anthology editor, and I'm going to talk about that.
In a widely used and respected personality test (free to take here), I come out as an ENFJ (Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging), which clearly affects the way that I work. I'm not even the biggest extravert in the world, especially not relative to the general pool of Americans, but relative to groups of mostly-introverted writers, I end up looking super-social. This explains the number of people I'm connected with on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. I just love 'em. Bring on the people!
This might seem a little frivolous, but consider what it's brought me:
Okay? So in every case listed above, I actually did the work. I wrote the stories and the review, set up and conducted the interview, read the slush, and volunteered my time and effort to help people in a variety of ways. But none of those opportunities would have been there for me if I hadn't shown up at conventions, introduced myself to people, genuinely liked those people, and continued to pay attention to what they were doing online even when I couldn't see them in person. I was doing these things before anything of mine was published, and I'll continue to do them because I would definitely do the same things just for fun, even if I didn't expect to get anything else back from it at all. But the honest truth is that I have the start of a career because of being friendly and interested in people.
Coming soon: How I Learned to Be Social Despite Having Introverted Parents