"an influence is never just an influence"
"A literary influence is never just a literary influence. It’s also an influence in the way you see everything—in the way you feel your life."
-- the poet Thom Gunn, interviewed in The Art of Poetry #72 at The Paris Review
This dovetails nicely with what Robin and I were dancing around in TDA #2 "Like How Chemicals Make Stuff": you not only can't escape influence in your work, you can't escape the way it shapes your life. Instead of being afraid of it, you should work with it--study and learn the limits of those influences so you can move beyond them with purpose.