I am not good at email. No sir. There is just so many of them, each a call to action that I somehow fail, usually in one of the following ways:
Mail from blog readers that makes me cry and feel so, so happy.
Proper response: Quickly write back a thoughtful reply that conveys how much that letter meant to me.
My response: Write a draft, decide it isn’t good enough, feel guilty for the next three weeks.
Daily emails from companies that I don’t care about but bought something from once.
Proper response: Unsubscribe to that shit, then mark it as spam.
My response: Patiently, day in and day out, mark it as read. Sigh painfully, wonder why life is so irritating, realize what a stupid first worldly problem this is, feel guilty for getting angry at Southwest Airlines when real suffering exists in the world.
As you can see, nearly every email interaction ends with guilt. This is dumb. I cannot commit to being good at email forever, because, Jesus. But I can commit for this week, to do the following:
• Unsubscribe, ruthlessly and instantly, to every single stupid “Ace Hardware Daily Digest!”-style missive that clots up my inbox like so much oatmeal down a drain;
• Decide that good will not be the enemy of great when it comes to heartfelt email replies, and writing something prompt is better than writing something profound;
• Set twice-daily email/Tumblr inbox reply times, which in this case will be 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
• If there is a VERY compelling reason that I cannot respond immediately to the email, I will dutifully file it under the RESPOND!!!!!! label, and get to it within 24 hours.
• By doing these things, I get to excuse myself from email guilt.
PS — See that “best emails ever” label? That is where every single email y’all send me goes. I am way, way behind on replies right now, but should be up to date by the end of the week.