I am reasonably well-read in both non-fiction and fiction. Usually that seems like a resource, as I have broad general knowledge and the ability to research when I need depth.
I started writing "The Surprising Life and Death of Diggory Franklin" with good awareness of most sci-fi time travel tropes and thought I was avoiding most of them by staying rooted in the character and avoiding paradoxes.
However, I just watched the first episode of the "new" Doctor Who show that restarted around 2002 (?) - I watched the older ones sometimes as a kid but they're vague memories. The Time Lords of Who show up at historical events like the JFK assassination, which is similar to what my characters do, unintentionally.
I was avoiding watching the show for that very reason and now I regret checking it out. Does anyone ever deliberately watch / read / avoid something in their genre to prevent derivative despair?