My first post.
I'm 47. I did EXACTLY as the person who wrote in did. Reclaimed my life from careerist hell at 44, started generating real heat in a new creative field while puttering along at a low heat in my old profession.
My choice: turned them down. All of them. kept doing what I'm doing, at my own pace. What do you know? Now I have material success and a chill lifestyle totally on my terms a few years later.
Speaking as one of those who used to try and force creative people to take money and then produce, its just a game of wills. If you stay fast, you WILL get everything you want on your terms without sacrificing your sanity. Just be strong enough to resist the peer pressure of 'its now or never'. You just proved it isn't. Only change your life if its what you want.
Personally, my sanity and lifestyle is now worth A LOT to me. And money, status and the attendant pressure that comes with it won't buy you any more of it.