Every time I sit down to write, I experience a slight shiver of fear. I've learned not to analyze the feeling, but to ignore the twanging little wah-wah-wah and start putting words onto the page. Just move the story forward, fix it later, don't think about readers right now.
Upon finishing a novel or story, I allow myself to think about the particular fears haunting that work.
I wrote Not A Doctor Logan's Divorce Book quickly before attending a writing workshop. The words flowed easily because I'd been waiting to write that story ever since my parents divorced when I was nine years old. Maybe I should have feared the marketability of a book about divorce, but I didn't worry about that. If it never got published, my dad would never read it. Oh, how I dreaded having my dad read that book! After safely sitting in my file cabinet for years, my little divorce book was published by a small press. So my dad did read the book, and he loved it, maybe more than any of my other books. I realized that while my emotions were very real, I had written a fictional story, and my dad understood that too.
Swoon At Your Own Risk was my sixth manuscript. I put a lot of my mom into the story, but she loves attention of all kinds, so I never worried about her reaction. I had, however, based the love interest on a teenage boy in my neighborhood who skateboarded to high school, gracefully weaving down the street, sometimes holding a coffee in one hand.
Right now I could swamp myself with all the fears involved with the current story I'm telling--what if X? What if Y? What if Z? But I've learned that most of my fears turn out okay in the end. So I'm going to ignore that wah-wah-wah and just move the story forward, fix it later, and not think about readers right now.