Held Hostage….?


Hello world, although it was my intention to share a post on here a few days ago, I encountered some technical issues. Imagine waking up the day after Christmas, and discovering that you were locked out of your word processing software.

“Arrrgh,” I growled knowing that I had a couple of articles due the next morning for one of my cherished clients. I shook my head and cursed the day I upgraded from Microsoft Word 2010, to the new and improved Microsoft Office 365. It seemed like a good idea at the time since the upgrade was included with the NetBook I got as a gift from my brother last year for Christmas. Little did I realize that a year later my life’s work would be held for ransom.

I suppose that’s a little melodramatic but I am a writer and a good story requires a little drama doesn’t it? Yes I know that I can use Microsoft Office 365 Online for free, or I could use Google Docs, but what about those times I have no internet access? I often write at the beach, in the mountains or at a park because I find those places inspirational and there are limited distractions.

So what’s a free spirited freelance writer to do when his work is being held hostage? Pay the fee?

Hell no! Being the rebel I am, and being as angry as I am, I have decided to search for a word processing program that won’t charge me a monthly fee for the privilege of accessing my own work. Although I love Microsoft’s Word program, I don’t like the notion that I should have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee to use it even if that fee is less than what I pay for a couple of cups of coffee. What’s next a subscription fee to use my laptop?

So the search has begun, a simple Google Search revealed that there are a number of great word processing programs out there including many that offer the same features that Microsoft includes in Office 365. I don’t mind paying for the software in fact I paid for Word 2010 unfortunately when I upgraded I apparently lost access to that program.

After doing some research I realize that as a professional writer I may be swimming upstream as I try to get away from Microsoft’s new subscription service, but there are some great alternatives available on the market. I have narrowed the list down to three programs that were rated highly on TopTenReviews.com, Corel’s WordPerfect Office X8, SoftMaker’s TextMaker 2016, and Ability Office 6. I am downloading trial versions of the fore mentioned word processing software, and intend to give them all a fair shot by using each one to polish up a chapter of my latest manuscript.

Additionally there are a few free offerings that also look like they would be up to the task such as Libre Office which I just installed on my NetBook. Another promising possibility is Open Office Writer 4.1.3 which I am currently using to write this post on my trusty Lenovo laptop. What word processing software do you use?

How do you feel about monthly subscriptions to access your own work?