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on the majesty of my unanswered email mountain

Hinemoana Baker

I want to apologise here for my appalling (lack of) email responsiveness for the last six months. Please, if I owe you an email, I am very, very sorry. Explanation below, but not excuses.

When I arrived in Berlin my physical health took a turn for the worse, and I couldn't engage with a laptop screen/keyboard very much for several months. (Phone still, yes, hence I have remained Facebook connected, have needed to, though that also probably feels weird and annoying for some of you waiting to hear from me).

Then my laptop crapped itself (again). As my body and spirits have improved, and my laptop returned to full function (yay!) I began to feel a rising anxiety about the time I had already lost in this precious writing residency year (actually 11 months for the writers, 12 months for the visual artists, not sure why but still, GRATEFUL!).

Even though all my moving parts are working much better now, and I am living a much more balanced life here in Berlin, I have still been kind of consciously and unconsciously avoiding doing anything else except engaging with this book I'm here to write/finish. Which in itself is fairly heavy going much of the time.

Anxiety is a constant and often paralysing struggle for me. Once it gets going it's a big ship to turn. So it's taken me this long to have the courage to even look at the 804 emails I now owe answers to. I do wonder how the hell 804 emails could happen ever, to anyone, in any length of time. What did we all do before this invention? etc... But that's another conversation.

It's not only email, but all other kinds of life and work admin that I find overwhelming at times like this. So if you are waiting for a response from me, be at least assured that so is the IRD.

*weak laughter*

Still, it's probably shite to be waiting for an answer from me about stuff and then see posts of me galavanting round the city on my bike, or whatever. So this is by way of saying, there's not much galavanting involved...it all still feels like quite a struggle most days.

Anyway! I am working my way through the emails, and I feel generally terrible about it, and if anyone has any of their own email-survival strategies to share, or hints on how not to feel so terrible about it, or just what the best chocolate ice-cream in Berlin is (ElizaBishop I'm looking at you) I would be grateful. Other than that, I just - yeh, I'm on it!

Here's a cute pic of me as a kid to try and galvanise your sympathy and/or forgiveness.