In the last few days, I've played over two dozen French games in Blitz. My score is probably close to 40% against mostly weaker players (good thing they were unrated!). This is also not due to lack of opening preparation as I consulted the Shredder opening database during the game, assuring me a decent position.
The problem occurs when I'm out of book. While I know some general ideas, I have trouble finding the moves that secure an advantage once my opponent has made a mistake. Moreover, when I do get an advantage, I often don't know how to use it. For example, I would have a very active and well coordinated position evaluated as +1.00 for black and I just don't find the moves to enlarge or at least keep this advantage.
In the hypermodern openings, like the Accelerated Dragon, even a slight inaccuracy (Bd3 vs Be3 for example) by White would give me a GREAT game and I would often win untroubled. I knew exactly what to do to take advantage of the error. This was also in part to the very consistent set-up that, left to its own, becomes very strong. And that's what the White sidelines did, they let me get my set-up with Bg7, Nc6, Nf6, O-O, and then it was easy.
While I'm confident in the French, I'm not so sure about myself. Will I be able to quickly get a much better position if I stick with the French or is this not likely to change much?