Review your games thoroughly. Understand why you lost. It’s important. If your opponent got more territory than you did because you “never had the chance to attack or imitate” it’s probably because you are playing too slow, i.e. being too defensive. BTW, you need to temper your impatience. I know it’s hard, but just take a few seconds to think about what you want to do and how to accomplish it. You need to have a strategy to win a strategy game!!
But, if patience isn’t your thing and you want some quick lessons-learned from a ~9k, here are some things that would have helped me when I was a 20k:
You should always remember the rule of 2: you can only play one move at a time in Go which means that as long as you have two ways to escape, two ways to connect, two ways to live, two eyes, etc., you can go play somewhere else. If you ever find yourself in a situation where there’s only one way to connect or live or escape, that is an urgent move (in general).
At the same time, you can’t have everything! This isn’t an all or nothing game. Sometimes you just have to give up a stone, or a group, or even a whole corner or a side to win the game. It’s counter intuitive and painful, but somewhere around my 150th game I lost a group of like 20 stones and instead of resigning (as I thought I should have at the time), I kept playing and won. It turns out that my opponent spent all his/her stones eating my group while I made territory elsewhere. Once he/she committed to killing that group, I had tons of forcing moves that let me play free stuff. The lesson here is that not all stones are of equal value. Make this your mantra! One stone that is separating your opponent’s weak groups is worth much more than that clump of 5 stones doing nothing in the middle of the board. Next game, try giving up your useless stones. Even if that means losing a small group. Let it go!
Don’t follow your opponent around because they will happily show you where to play to lose the game. Every time your opponent plays a move, think: “What does this do? Does this threaten me in some way? Do I have to respond to this move?”. If the answer is no, go find the biggest thing you can play (remember corners > sides > center, in that order) on the board and play it. Is there a move that threatens your opponent? Play that instead. There’s a word for this: sente. It’s an incredibly subtle and powerful thing; one that even at SDK I still do not take into account enough. Having the initiative means you are the one calling the shots for the game. Never under estimate the power of having sente. Remember, komi is the compensation white gets for not having sente at the beginning of the game. By that measure, having sente is worth 6 or 7 stones!! Remember the thing about giving up useless stones? If your opponent wants those three stones, let them have it! Now you have sente, and probably some forcing moves to go with it (just threaten to take those three stones back)!
Finally: Never stop playing. Play as many games as you can. Play against GnuGo or something until you can beat it every time. Yeah, I know it’s not the same as playing a person, but it can help you learn at least enough to be a single digit kyu, plus you can easily take back bad moves, experiment with strategies, etc. Just keep playing. There is no substitute for thousands of games under your belt.
Hope this helps you!