A recurring theme in my teaching is the importance of aligning the grammar of a sentence with the action that the sentence depicts. I am forever trying to get writers to stay in the habit of expressing action in the form of a verb, with the actor as the subject of that verb. Your reader burns to know the answer to the question “Who did what?” and her eyes and her brain are wired to seek first the subject position (who) and the verb position (did what) in every sentence she reads.
If this idea of expressing actions as verbs and actors as subjects seems self-evident, it’s not. Language is exceedingly flexible, and it provides a multitude of ways to express action in ways other than a good old-fashioned Subject-Verb-Object main clause. The following list is just the tip of the iceberg:
The passive voice places somebody besides the actor in the subject slot: I took the bull by the horns becomes The bull was taken by the horns by me.
Nominalization turns the verb into a noun: I failed completely becomes My failure was complete.
A gerund also converts a verb into a noun: I swim constantly because I love it becomes Constant swimming is my passion or I love swimming.
Once you have turned the verb into a noun, you can make it the object of a preposition, so turning it into a modifier: My love of swimming keeps me in the water constantly (In this example, note that both actions I swim and I love get turned into nouns). The completeness of my failure became obvious to all.
A participle also turns a verb into a modifier: I went upstairs and sulkedbecomes Having gone upstairs, I sulked.
A subordinate clause pulls action out of the main through-line of a sentence and makes it a modifier: I went upstairs and sulked becomes I went upstairs, where I sulked.
The astute reader will notice that in some of these examples, the sentence actually works better when you move the action out of the subject-verb nexus. “I love swimming” turns the subject-verb I swim into a gerund, but it’s at least as good a sentence as “I swim because I love it.”
As I often say, every “problematic” construction in the English language exists because there are situations in which it’s not problematic but exactly what you need.