I'm a developer with about 10 years of experience, most of them with my current employer. I am good at my work, and this success has been recognized with promotions and increased responsibilities. Currently these are mostly technical project leadership roles, but are increasingly managerial. Although I don't have any reports, project leadership usually implies cross-functional coordination, scheduling, etc. My management has made their approval clear but also signaled that career growth will come with management responsibility.
This makes me uneasy. I love my work and am happy with my employer, but I am a developer at heart and see myself as a craftsman of sorts -- my pleasure comes from creating something of beauty and value. I am not competitive in the way that successful leaders often are, and I'm not motivated by the company's financial success or competitive standing. The uncomfortable truth is that I'm also quite good at these leadership roles, and probably better than as an individual technical contributer. But in the same way that an introvert can survive but never thrive in socially-demanding situations, these roles wear on me: I find them stressful, consuming, and inherently empty of the internally-motivating value I find in creating something.
So I'm faced with the decision of whether to pursue the pragmatic, lucrative, and likely more successful route of technical management (probably divesting of technical work over time because that's how these career paths seem to go); or the idealistic path of rejecting these responsibilities in favor of remaining closer to the craft. I have a family to support and other responsibilities, but clearly I need to be true to myself. However, it's not clear which path is wiser, nor exactly how I could even change the trajectory of my career if that were the right choice. I'd sincerely appreciate advice, especially from those with similar experiences.