I do not know if it is because of the holiday of Halloween, the change in temperature and atmosphere with the shift to Fall/Autumn, or some other factor, but this time of year tends to have many ongoing events in communal art spaces. Probably the most well known ones are things like Inktober, NaNoWriMo, the many, many countdowns for Horror and Christmas movies/series, and, to be honest, there are so many more. Obviously, these kinds of community building events happen throughout the year, but they do seem to go into hyperdrive as the year ends. Again, not sure why as there are probably several factors, but it is nice to have.
Admittedly, a lot of the participation around these communal events is about promotion. There is nothing wrong with that as, unfortunately, promotion is a major necessity of any artistic endeavor, at least for anyone that wants traction or potential to have their art as a profession or source of income. More so these communal events and activities are a chance to promote, yes, but to also enhance skills and engage with like minded peers and interested audiences.
Personally, I have participated in the movie and film countdowns for the last few years, and it made me look for and at films and television that I probably would not have before. My tastes and experiences were broadened and tempered from these exercises. I have also done some writing challenges with successes and failures. But the real fun that came from participation was meeting other writers and discussing story and plot and craft. It was getting comments about a movie or show I had watched and discussing elements of it with random strangers. Those moments made the participation in things like NaNoWriMo and countdown worthwhile. Obviously, there was some effort in curating engagement since the internet is still the internet, but the positive ultimately outweighed the negative.
So, I encourage you to find and try one of these virtual events that interest you and give it a go. The constant caveats of be safe, be smart, and only do what you are fully comfortable with apply, but try one out and see if you maybe find some people that can become part of your “people” or at least a decent crew to have around. If that doesn’t work out, at least you watched some cool stuff or made some art.