My story of developing my black openings against 1.e4
Before i started playing in the club i was one of these players moving every pawn, and finally in most games everything was blockaded against my main opponent in the youth.
That worked not well against the opponents in the club, even those guys who have rating 1000 since then. I got much input on how to develop (move e-Pawn, move knights to f3 and c3, move bishops to c4 and g5 if you can and castle) + some basic tactics. That helped me a lot to improve.
But i met opponents who hat some ideas in their favorite openings. One was good at the evans gambit, the other was good at kings gambit. Yes, i looked at that openings, but don't improved my results in the club games. If I would have taken notes, i would have had a chance to learn from my mistakes!
So there came the time when i fatally learned, that these guys only knew their pet lines and had no idea how to play against the french. That was my opening against 1.e4 for a while. I switched back to 1... e5 with good results, when i realized, that the french wasn't really good for me. But i wanted to input the whole bunch of lines from the book into a database and memorize all. Which had to fail...
Then there came a time with some bad results and not more so much time for chess. And there was a fine new book on the french: Neil McDonalds "how to play against 1.e4". I buyed it and played the french again until last summer, when i had the black pieces three times in three days and lost all of them against 1.e4. Some concepts seem to be too much advanced: Sometimes black plays 6 times with pawns in the first ten moves, sometimes he must develop rapidly.
With not enough experience on 1. e4 e5 with some very dynamic openings (and some rather slow!) i lack understanding this point. So it was time to go back to the basics (again). First learn to walk before you can run!
So i decided to go back to 1...e5. With the known stuff from before and some reading it seems to be enough to play against opponents at my level and a bit higher. If i always analyze my games, my opening knowledge and skills will improve by that way.