Student Spotlight: Christina Pan

DBHS senior turns her passion for poetry into a book entitled “Imperfect Pieces”

Pauline Woodley, A&E Editor

While most students in middle school worried about their favorite artist’s new song or how to master the latest dance craze, senior Christina Pan had one goal in mind: write a novel.

In the last few years she  abandoned the idea to focus on her new-found love of poetry.  With help from her peers and the motivation it take to finish such a large project, her poetry book, “Imperfect Pieces,” was born.

Ever since Pan began writing in elementary school, she has had a passion for it. As she grew up, her writing style matured and she turned to poetry to express herself.

“The first piece I wrote for ‘Imperfect Pieces’ was a letter to my future self after the first day of freshman year,” Pan said.

Pan began writing the poems for “Imperfect Pieces” as a freshman, and continued to write short letters and poems all throughout her four years at Diamond Bar High School.

“Throughout high school, writing was a form of stress relief. I didn’t know the impact it would have on me until later.”

Last summer, she decided that she was ready to share her work with the world. After rereading all the poems she had, Pan wanted to take the next step in her writing career. She published one poem on the online publication “Germ Magazine,” made by students for students, and realized that she liked the feeling of her work being published. Afterwards, she began researching how to self-publish and found the exact platform she wanted to use.

“The company that I work with is called Create Space, and from there I was able to sell on Amazon and expand my channel to sell on the Barnes & Noble website. Once everything is approved, the book immediately goes up on the site,” Pan said.

Although Pan was primarily motivated by her love for writing and her personal experiences, she found strength in her friends. Seniors Crystal Song, Denise Leong and Ashley To contributed  by editing her work, formating the poetry and designing the cover art.

“I am proud to be apart of something so special. I’m not really a writer myself but after this process I feel like I could potentially be a professional editor and it’s something I might be interested in,” Leong said.

Throughout the editing process, Pan had to decide what poems would be published in the final draft. Her goal was to keep her creations personal, but also generic enough that others could relate to it. She wants everyone to take something different away from reading her pieces.

Although Pan is planning on majoring in Management Information Systems, a mixture of computer science and business, next fall, she hopes to continue writing and possibly publish another book in the future. For Pan, writing will always have a place in her life.

Pan’s writing style is best described as personal and raw, as most poems deal with Pan’s experiences in school and relationships with friends and family. She finds inspiration in poet Rupi Kaur, author of the best-selling poetry book “Milk & Honey,” and Khalid, singer of the hit song “Location.”

“He’s only nineteen and for him to be able to put his work out there at such a young age was inspiring. He made me think that if he could do it, I could do it,” Pan said.

Pan hopes to follow in Khalid’s footsteps and be an inspiration to those that are unsure about sharing their art with others.

“My advice would be to not be nervous. Remember that every artist has had to expose themselves in order to share their art. Don’t be afraid to put what you work so hard for out there.”