If you're the creative type -- anything from inventing gadgets to writing music -- you probably have a routine, rituals that help you create: utter silence, background music, the noise and bustle of the food court in the mall. I tend toward a combination: solitude, but not necessarily silence; concentration, but not always single focus.
At this moment, I'm watching (more like listening to) The New World while typing this post. A half-hour ago, I was watching a television episode online while working on the rough draft of a script, an adaptation of someone else's novel.
An aside: The first time I read the book, I was disappointed in the outcome, but the story stayed with me. A couple readings later, I see the beauty of it, and the outcome is not disappointing at all. It reads like a collaboration between Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, where his darkness is tempered by her optimism.
During commercials, or when I needed to pause the online show in order for the buffering to catch up, I stopped working on the script and read a few paragraphs in a different book. I didn't plan it -- I just did it -- and the creativity and concentration actually improved. It's as if the distractions helped my focus.
This is not always so.
I need to progress with my own stories, but the only creativity I find lately is in adapting the words of a writer long dead.