Building a Writer's Habit: 4-week Course with Zahra Noorbakhsh

Build solid writing habits with guidance from an award-winning comedian, playwright, and viral essayist

April 11-May 2, 2024
Thursdays, 7:30-9:30pm EST (4:30-6:30pm PST)

Now a 4-week workshop — but space is limited!

We love to write except when we hate it, right? Sometimes writing can feel uniquely depleting. Well, guess what? Habit science says it is! It’s not just you.

Free up your mind and spirit to focus on the creative elements that matter in this unique class Zahra Noorbakhsh. The award-winning podcaster, essayist, and comedian will help you build a writer’s habit in four-weeks. Find out how to set yourself up for success, avoid burnout, and get it done. We’ll myth bust, establish tools and terminology for reliable self-assessments, and get diagrams and trackers that reveal the machinery of our existing writing habits as we rework them. Chuck that “all or nothing” thinking for a process you can count on.

Come in with any writing project or use the weekly prompts that will be provided for measurable gains and new ease. (More details below)

Zahra’s workshop has been a great normalizer when everything else is so chaotic. It’s also been awesome just inspiring more story ideas. I’ve learned so much from her expertise. I started enjoying comedy again.
—Wayman Barnes, Flash Comedy Writing
I’m a faster and more confident writer thanks to Zahra’s hacks. Definitely would recommend this class to anyone looking to sharpen their skills.
—Marcia Aguilar, Flash Comedy Writing
I appreciate the safe space Zahra provides and the opportunity to take this fun, creative journey with such great classmates too. I now write faster, perform better, have less fear of making mistakes, and feel more empowered to unleash positive creativity on the world.
—David H Wall
I definitely recommend Courtney’s class for anyone wondering how to start podcasting.
—PanU Student

Over the course, students will:

  • Learn the science behind habits
  • Create a sustainable habit system that outlasts the class
  • Gain a community of folks as a support network to build and maintain a writer’s habit

Suitable for writers at all levels. If you’re unsure whether this course is for you, ask us at

Thursdays, 7:30-9:30pm EST (4:30-6:30pm PST)
April 11-May 2, 2024 

  • Class 1 (April 11): Myth Busting & Habit Building
  • Class 2 (April 18): Workflow & Goal Setting
  • Class 3 (April 25): Reframing Scarcity Mindset & The Science of Persistence
  • Class 4 (May 2): Fears, Failures, and Recalibration: How to Refine a Writer’s Habit


After checkout, you’ll receive a receipt with a link to download your syllabus, which will include Zoom passcodes, pre-class homework, and additional course information. You will also receive an emailed reminder a few days before your first class.


This course is intended for committed students. Feedback is tailored to the student. No prior experience writing is required. You may enter the course with ideas for your writing exercises, or you can use writing prompts provided by Zahra.

Please be on time, meet your deadlines, and read other classmates’ pieces to workshop together. In addition to attending each class, you are expected to be available across all dates to complete your writing assignments. If your work is more than 48 hours late, however, you may or may not get feedback.

The course is intended for live participation, however, if you can’t be present for a class, or must leave early, a recording will be provided in the student folder the morning after.

Students are expected to be present and intellectually curious during class time. Please be ready to participate with working cameras and audio. If you’re ever stuck or may need accommodation, please reach out to your instructor or TA. Remember that instructors are people and cannot know what we don’t tell them.


Pandemic University is committed to offering a fulfilling and inclusive education. Classes are held via Zoom with Closed Captioning features enabled through auto-transcription technology. A teaching assistant will be present to correct transcription mistakes and assist in other ways. The course includes workshops and class discussions, thus students are required to participate through audio; accommodations can be made for people with speaking or other disabilities if they inform us ahead of schedule. Video is encouraged of all students in order to optimize everyone’s virtual classroom experience.


Space is limited to 20 students. Anyone wishing to cancel their registration has until April  4, 2024 to receive a guaranteed refund. If you cancel after April 4 but before April 10, 2024 we will only offer a refund if and after the vacated spot is filled. No refunds whatsoever will be offered after the course begins on April 11. Violations of the Code of Conduct may also result in your removal from the course without compensation.


Although PanU is technically a fake university, we’re committed to high standards of artistic integrity, quality education, and maintaining a safe virtual environment for students. Abusive behaviour toward classmates or instructors will not be tolerated at any point during the course, including in private messages, and will result in expulsion without refund.

Other violations that could have you expelled from this course include: refusing to participate in group workshops; plagiarism and misrepresentation of others’ ideas as your own; racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia either in your notes (written or spoken) or in your work; sharing recordings of classes; sharing classmates’ work without their consent.

The final say on whether or not you continue in class belongs to the instructor alone. If you have any questions, email

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