Play the Shell
As a lower-kyu, playing Black is often more comfortable than playing White. Nevermind that there's a komi rule to even-out the game, and that you can still create a glorious mess as Black by your fourth move. It just feels better to know that you have the initiative by playing first.
I've noticed that a lot of beginners' Go books have a tendency to be Black-biased. I suppose that makes sense since beginners will often play against stronger players.
Playing White, however, supposedly teaches you to value moves that gain or keep sente. In handicap games, you also learn to make more aggressive plays and create complications.
Playing White also deepens your understanding of playing Black. It's great to know how to play the Chinese Opening to your advantage. It's even better to understand its weaknesses and how to demolish it.
On both IGS and KGS, my win ratio has increased and I'm growing confident that I will soon advance in rank. I noticed however that, in most of my recent matches, I had the opportunity to play Black. This leaves me with a gnawing feeling in the back of my head that my strength might be color-biased. I don't like that.
If I'm going to advance, I need to prove to myself that I can hold my rank with either color. I want to know that I've earned the rank and not been granted it by a mere confluence of fortunate opportunities and a rank-calculation float.
I'm trying to make it a habit to review my games with stronger players as much as possible. I'm thankful that my friends on KGS like to drop-in to watch me play (or perhaps to watch me get plastered).
I now need to adjust the frequency of my play for quality rather than quantity. Reviews can take as long, if not longer, than the game itself. That leaves less time for games and forces me to find playing periods that are at least an hour long. It's a tad confining but I want to improve for my next matches and minimize my mistakes.