In the above sentence estaba has been translated as 'I' but could it equally be 'he' or 'she'?
If so, how could one make it explicit?
If the sentence you give here was used in a large piece of writing, in a passage, it would be apparent by the context that it was referring to 'I was writing them an email'.
In a stand alone sentence you would need to use the personal pronouns to indicate who was doing the writing:
E.g. Yo les estaba escribiendo...
Ella les estaba escribiendo...
Él les estaba escribiendo... etc.
Hope this helps
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